SJ, rail, train, Sweden, bookings, domestic, mountains, Are, travel, tourism, Easter

Booking pressure on Sweden’s Easter rail trips

Which Swedish rail destinations are seeing the biggest leaps in popularity this year?

More Swedes are opting to travel by train at Easter, with bookings so far rising by 5% compared to last year, according to state-owned passenger rail operator SJ.

The ‘night owl’ north to Åre and Riksgränsen is sold out even before the weekend starts, as are most of the high-speed departures to Malmö, Gothenburg and Umeå. The greatest travel pressure is on the Thursday before Easter, on March 29.

“It is still possible to find trips, even if the most attractive departures are fully booked,” insists Niclas Härenstam, the operator’s press officer. “But it’s really high time to book. We’ve put in as many trains as we can.”

Rail bookings are up 5% compared with last year’s Easter weekend, and SJ says that the average length of travel is rising too.

SJ says that this is part of a longer-term trend where more people are choosing to travel in a more environmentally friendly way.

Expected and unexpected
Most of Sweden’s rail trips are, predictably, topped by Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. But the difference this year is that three times as many trips are to the mountains.

Sweden’s most popular rail destinations in Easter (last year in brackets)
1. Stockholm C (1)
2. Gothenburg C (2)
3. Malmö C (3)
4. Lund C (5)
5. Åre (16)
6. Uppsala C (4)
7. Sundsvall C (8)
8. Arlanda C (6)
9. Ostersund C (12)
10. Linköping C (7)

Biggest jumps in popularity in Easter rail destinations
1. Undersåker * +225%
2. Björkliden +223%
3. Kiruna +206%
4. Gällivare +194%
5. Duved +189%
6. Åre +173%
7. Riksgränsen +148%
8. Kramfors +95%
9. Kastrup +80%
10. Copenhagen +77%
*close to Vålådalen, Trillevallen

SJ’s booking statistics cover the total number of trips to and from each place during the period March 29 to April 2. Last year’s equivalent Easter holiday was for the period April 13 to April 17, 2017.

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