No night train between Brussels and Malmö after all

SJ night train © David Gubler on wikimedia

The plan to put an overnight train into service from Brussels to the Swedish city of Malmö seems to be abandoned, according to a press release from the Back on Track Belgium collective, which is campaigning for more international rail links and night trains.

The bad news from Sweden illustrates the need for a ‘public service’ to get international trains back on track: the ‘promised’ night train from Malmö to Brussels will not be put into service, but only the twin train from Stockholm to Hamburg,” wrote Back on Track.

In April 2020, the Swedish government announced its intention to set up two new international routes served by night trains: one to connect Malmö, in southern Sweden, and Brussels, and a second between Stockholm and Hamburg.

At the start of the summer, the Swedish government gives the green light to launch a call for tenders.

Little by little, the first details are seeping in from the north,” Back on Track said on Wednesday. “For the Hamburg train, seven operators competed in the first round, but only SJ, the Swedish Railways run by the government, ultimately submitted a complete dossier for four years. SJ, therefore, won the connection. For the train to Brussels, no operator has submitted an offer because the section not covered by the public service, from the German-Danish border to Brussels, is too long compared to the section of the public service.

Source: BX1


  1. […] The general assumption is that public subsidy, and hence indeed even a tendering system, for long distance rail transport in Germany is impossible – due to the way Article 87e paragraph 4 of the German constitution (Grundgesetz) is phrased. Long distance passenger rail has to be eigenwirtschaftlich (self financing, i.e. not making a loss). This inability to offer a public subsidy in Germany was the stated reason for the failure to find an operator for SJ’s proposed Malmö-Bruxelles via Köln night train. […]


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