Rail to Umeå steals market share from air

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Operator says this was the highlight of a record year

Rail travel increased by 22% on the line from Stockholm to Umeå, 640 kilometres to the north, in 2017, while air travel on the same route decreased, reports state-owned passenger train operator SJ.

Over the last year, SJ has operated more fast trains on the Umeå-Stockholm route, which has visibly attracted greater quantities of passengers.

There are now four daily departures with high-speed trains that have a travel time of just over six hours. In addition, SJ also runs night trains on the stretch in either direction.

“Positive for the environment”
“The fact that more people are changing from flights to trains is, of course, positive for the environment. It is clear that Umeå is a city with a strong environmental profile with inhabitants who maintain sustainability in everything,” says Jan Kyrk, business manager at SJ.

“We notice that more and more people are discovering the benefits of the train, such as increased comfort and more time for relaxation or work. The positive development on the Umeå-Stockholm line is among the strongest in the country.”

In addition to the travel increase to and from Umeå, SJ also hit a new record in 2017 when the company reached 30 million passengers in a single year. Increases occurred across all segments, the operator claims, with train travel among students and young people accounting for the biggest rise of 19%.

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