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Travel topics > Transportation > Rail travel > Rail and bus travel in Sweden

Rail and bus travel in Sweden

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Sweden has an extensive railway network. Most long-distance lines are operated by the government-owned company SJ AB. Regional public transportation, both by rail and bus, is provided by the counties, län.

There are also some commercial bus services.

The transport carriers in Sweden operate an alliance service called Resplus for multiple-leg travel. See Resrobot for an interactive journey planner.

National rail carriers[edit]

The X40 train, used on many regional routes, has an upper deck, which gives a good view of the Swedish scenery.

While rail travel is being deregulated in Sweden, national carrier SJ remains the dominant carrier. While rail speed is far behind countries such as France and Germany, rail is a good option for intercity travel.

Many routes connect to Copenhagen and Oslo, and some to Trondheim, Narvik and Berlin. Railways in Finland have a broader track gauge, and are therefore not connected to the Swedish rail network. Furthermore, the area where Sweden and Finland share a land border is extremely sparsely populated.

Note that tickets are normally bought directly from the carrier concerned and are normally reserved for one train departure. Regional public transport tickets might be used for any regional public train departure within a given time, but those tickets are normally not valid on national rail carrier trains.

SJ rail[edit]

To buy a railway ticket from SJ, or to obtain information, phone +46 771 75 75 75 or check their website. As of summer 2009, the cheapest SJ tickets are released exactly 90 days before departure, so time your online ticket purchases carefully if your itinerary is set and don't buy tickets earlier than 90 days before your trip. Because point-to-point tickets are quite expensive, for more train journeys in Sweden InterRail [1] (for European residents) or Eurail [2] (for non-European residents) pass might be useful. Unlike most European countries, however, bicycles are not allowed on any trains, except for foldable bicycles, which count as regular luggage.

There are sleeper train services between Stockholm and Malmö as well as between Gothenburg, Stockholm and the northern parts of Norrland. Notice that during winter, these night trains can be delayed several hours due to bad weather.

MTR Express[edit]

MTR Express is a fast train between Stockholm and Gothenburg. Tickets are sold only on http://mtrexpress.travel (no machines or other web pages). They serve food on board.

Snälltåget[edit]

Snälltåget (brand name operated by Transdev, formerly Veolia) operates some rail lines; from Malmö to Berlin, Stockholm and Åre (during ski season, from December to April).

Blue Train[edit]

The Blue train (Blå tåget) is a luxury train going Gothenburg-Skövde-Stockholm-Uppsala.

Regional public transportation[edit]

Regional public transport can include commuter rail, tram, metro (in Stockholm), bus or boat (in the Swedish archipelagos), and is usually provided by the counties (län), under the brand name of the county owned traffic company.

Tickets are normally sold by the county owned traffic company. Ticket rules vary substantially. For regional trains it is normally possible to buy a ticket through SJ (see below) even if it is a county operated train.

There should be more information in the articles about the regions in Sweden.

South Central North

For instance, when travelling regionally in the province of Scania (Skåne in Swedish), one should refer to Skånetrafiken.

Tickets[edit]

City and county buses are part of the county's public transit system. Check out the local arrangements for how to obtain tickets. In many Swedish cities it is not possible to buy tickets for the city buses at the bus. In this case neither cash nor bank or credit cards are accepted. Instead you need an electronic bus card, a special card for each region, that sometimes also has to be filled with a minimum amount of money, typically 100 SEK. This bus card can sometimes be obtained only at dedicated ticket offices, not at the bus, but can often be filled with money for travel at local shops or refill machines that are found at public places.

This observation does not apply to countryside and long distance buses, where you normally can buy tickets from the driver.

For trams, there are (Gothenburg/Norrköping) normally machines onboard or (Stockholm) salesperson onboard. For Stockholm metro and commuter trains, tickets are sold at the station entrances.

In general, tourists are advised to buy one-day or multi-day passes which give free access to local public traffic.


Urban rail[edit]

Stockholm has a metro line known for its art; see Stockholm#Stockholm Metro, as well as light rail lines in some suburbs.

Gothenburg and Norrköping are known for their iconic trams.

Commercial buses[edit]

See also: Intercity buses in Europe

Flixbus and Nettbuss run a number of bus lines in the southern third of the country, Götaland and Svealand. They tend to cost less than going by train, if you can't take advantage of SJ's youth discounts. Y-buss and Härjedalingen operate between Stockholm and Norrland.

Flixbus also operates from Stockholm and Gothenburg to Oslo. At the county level, buses are a good method for travelling short distances from town to town, as they are more frequent and cheaper than trains. It is best to check with the local transportation authority for routes and schedules.

  • Bus4You is a high-comfort carrier.

Flygbussarna[edit]

Flygbussarna, Airport Coaches, are a private enterprise specializing in transfer between airports (or ferry terminals) and city centres.

See also[edit]

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