VR Sweden has been selected as the new operator of Tåg i Bergslagen (Bergslagen rail system) which is currently managed by SJ until December 2023 when the new contract will come into effect. This is a 10-year contract with an option of one additional year. This is the first contract VR Sweden has concluded since VR acquired the company on 1 July 2022.
SEK 3.9 billion (EUR 350.5 million) is the value of the contract and involves 200 employees, the company says.
In August 2022, Sweden’s national rail operator SJ and Tåg i Bergslagen, the regional operator entered into an agreement to terminate the service contract for Bergslagen rail system three years early in December 2023 instead of December 2026 due to the pandemic impact on the rail passenger traffic and negative results.
VR Sweden currently operates the traffic in Stockholm, as well as in regional traffic in southern Sweden and eastern Götaland. In Sweden, the market for contractual public transport is many times larger than in Finland. There are 21 regions which tender regional traffic.
“In Sweden, VR actively participates in regional tendering, where the client owns the rolling stock in the same way as in Finland, in the capital region’s HSL commuter traffic. Winning such a large and significant contract is a sign that local public transport operators value our services,” Topi Simola, Acting Managing Director of VR Sweden, said.
Tåg i Bergslagen connects four counties in Sweden – Dalarna, Örebro, Västmanland and Gävleborg. The public transport operator was set up in 2000 and is equally owned by Dalarna, Örebro, Västmanland and Gävleborg regions. The role of Tåg i Bergslagen is to operate and develop rail traffic and public transport in the region and to improve the flow of commuting, school and leisure travel. Tåg i Bergslagen develops the cooperation between rail traffic and the region’s operators in order to facilitate travel around the region.
VR is the third largest train operator in Sweden and the fourth largest bus operator. VR operates Pågatågen in southern Sweden, commissioned by Skånetrafiken.