IN A report on November 25 former head of Banverket Jan Brandborn proposes open access throughout Sweden, including routes where SJ AB or regional authorities enjoy a monopoly on passenger services.

Rikstrafiken, the authority that administers subsidies to some national routes, would be given greater responsibility, including management of a ’neutral’ passenger information and ticketing system, and rolling stock that operators did not wish to buy would be handed to SJ for leasing out. To strengthen competition in the freight market, TGOJ would become fully independent from Green Cargo. Brandborn envisages that all this could be accomplished by 2006.

SJ Chief Executive Jan Forsberg’s reaction was largely positive, but he and his Chairman Ulf Adelsohn insisted that SJ would need to be granted equal terms with their competitors. Otherwise they would be disadvantaged when bidding against national railways from Denmark, Norway or Germany. Infrastructure Minister Ulrica Messing said that there was no hurry at the moment and that the views of many other interested parties had yet to be heard.