If you are a fan of overnight trains, Sweden is planning to introduce new sleeper trains that will broaden your travel options. The planned service is the country's initiative to provide a practical alternative to short-haul flights, which contribute to climate change.

A woman sitting in bed on a sleeper train
Sleeper trains are often a good alternative to flying © Oscar Wong

Sweden's rail infrastructure manager, Trafikverket, recently revealed its plans for overnight sleeper trains that will run from Malmö to the German city of Cologne via Copenhagen. From there, passengers will take connections to other European countries, including London, AmsterdamMunich and Paris. There is also a desire to begin a service to Hamburg, and potentially to Frankfurt, Brussels, Berlin and Basel in the longer-term. The new service will mean travellers leaving Malmö at 7.40pm to arrive in Amsterdam by 9.28am the following day and London at 11.57am.

A sleeper class carriage on a Russian train with a narrow central aisle and bunk frames linking each side. A child stands at the far end of the aisle
Many countries have close quarter sleeper carriages © Igor Zvencom / Shutterstock

At present, it takes two full days of travel for a typical rail journey from London to Sweden, stopping half-way overnight. This new service, which will speed things up considerably, is expected to begin in 2022 or 2023. “As a first step, we propose to proceed with a connection between Malmö and Germany, preferably Cologne,” says Anna Fällbom, a senior official at Trafikverket. “Travel time on the route is reasonable and there is good opportunity for continued connections from Cologne."

The Malmo Harbor with a lighthouse and bridge.
The sleeper trains will leave from Malmö © Allard Schager/Getty Images

The Swedish government commissioned Trafikverket to investigate options for procuring overnight sleeper train services to European cities. Its report is due to be finalised on 30 April, but the draft findings have already been published. It is currently deciding on issues like how new carriages could be procured and if the service should be put out to competitive tender or directly awarded to a rail operator.

For further information, please see Trafikverket's website here.

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