Norrtåg train

Photos: Brightnest/Norrtåg

SWEDEN: The Norrtåg transport authority owned by four regions in the north of Sweden has selected VR Sverige as preferred bidder for the next contract to operate local passenger train services.

The contract running for 10 years from December 14 2025 covers six routes and is worth around SKr3·2bn.

The VR Sverige subsidiary of Finnish national operator VR will take over from current operator Vy Tåg.

Services will initially be operated using the existing rolling stock, which is provided by Norrtåg. Changes during the contract term will included the opening of the Norrbotnia line, the introduction of new vehicles and the construction of a depot in Umeå.

‘Norrtåg has very strong development behind it and an equally exciting journey ahead’, said Norrtåg Chairman Jonny Lundin when the selection of VR Sverige was announced on July 8. ‘We have found a good partner to grow with for the next 10 years’.

VR Sverige CEO Johan Oscarsson said the operator would provide environmentally friendly work and leisure travel for people in a region which is expected to show strong growth.

Current operator Vy Tåg said it had put a lot of effort into putting forward a bid offering high quality and financial sustainability, but it could not compete with the price.

‘It is both an advantage and a disadvantage to have good knowledge of a business. We know what things cost’, said Dag Lokrantz-Bernitz, CEO of Vy Tåg.