JANUARY 1 marks the end of Swedish State Railways as a national operator after 145 years. Under a restructuring which received government approval on December 14, SJ is being broken up into six independent state-owned companies.

The railway’s staff of 11600 is being split between the six businesses, which were set up during 2000 as internal departments. The SJ name will be perpetuated by passenger operator SJ Resor, which becomes SJ AB, with 3500 staff. The freight business is renamed Green Cargo AB (4400), whilst technical and maintenance business SJ Teknik becomes EuroMaint AB (2200). The property division is renamed Jernhusen AB (200), SJ Data becomes Unigrid (250), and the terminal services division becomes TraffiCare AB (1000).

During the past year, SJ has disposed of several ancillary businesses, including the ferry arm Scanlines AB, catering unit AB Trafikrestauranger and its stake in Stockholm’s Royal Viking Hotel.

Director-General Daniel Johannesson says the break-up is essential for the railway to compete in Sweden’s deregulated transport market, which is ’the most open in Europe after Great Britain’.

Deregulation is also starting to impact on the infrastructure business. From July Banverket will invite tenders for building and renewals work from outside contractors as well as its production division. Further outsourcing is likely to follow.

H The SJ-NSB high-speed joint venture Linx AB is due to launch its first services on January 7, using its own crews to operate dual-system X2000s leased from SJ. There will be three G