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Swedes sour on train travel: survey

TT/The Local · 6 Dec 2010, 12:41

Published: 06 Dec 2010 12:41 GMT+01:00

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All branches except the rail industry raised their customer satisfaction grade from last year's results.

Train travelers, however, dropped their rating of Swedish rail service from a 56.6 grade to 53.9, on a grading scale from 0 to 100, where a high grade correlates with a more positive judgment.

SJ's grade fell from 55.6 to 52.8, and the national rail carrier also found itself at the top of the complaints league.

A quarter of the rail company's customers have complained directly to SJ, and a fifth say that they have had reason to complain, without having done so.

Johan Parmler, CEO of Swedish Quality Index, suggested to Svenska Dagbladet that last winter's rail system chaos, with delayed trains and cancelled departure, lies behind SJ's poor results and many complaints.

"It's gone so far that the slightest problem with trains is turned into a huge deal. The public already has a negative image of the company," Parmler told the newspaper.

At the same time as satisfaction with the rail service has dropped, Swedes' satisfaction with the travel by bus is on the rise, having seen a radical leap upwards from last year's result of 64.6 to this year's 71.8.

The company Bus 4 You was the most popular, with the grade 78, while other bus companies, such as Swebus and Go By Bus, all received a grade around 70.

Sverigeflyg had the most satisfied customers in the category domestic airlines, with the grade 73.8, and was closely followed by Malmö Aviation at 73.1. SAS pulled themselves up from last year's result 61.2 to a grade of 67.6.

For international flights, the airline Norwegian was the most popular at 70.1, while SAS received 68.1.

Ryanair is bottom of the list with the grade 55.

Story continues below…

Taxi 020 and Taxi Skåne both receive high grades from their customers. Taxi customers appear to be the most satisfied travelers, having given taxi companies 72.7, the highest overall grade of all sub-industries.

The results of the survey come from responses from 4500 customers who were asked their opinion on travel companies.

Swedish Quality Index regularly conducts surveys on customer satisfaction, and is a part of the European organisation EPSI Rating.

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TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:47 December 6, 2010 by Rishonim
Foto looks like an Eastern European city. Tirana or some other sad town
14:03 December 6, 2010 by krattan
Photo is probably from a ski resort judging from the background hills and luggage.
14:20 December 6, 2010 by wabasha
looks like Åre, I took the train there. 2 hours late and very cold inside. but better than driving!
15:35 December 6, 2010 by kenny8076
im surprised cost wasnt mentioned...... i wonder if that has anything to do with peoples frustration..... the costs are going up but service is staying the same or getting worst in some cases. i always thought rail service in europe was cheap and fast.... from karlstad to Umeå its like 16 hours and 1000SEK........ a flight there is 900SEK and 1 hour 5 minutes.
17:14 December 6, 2010 by Muhammad Yousuf Soomro
pictures is not so good. it does not look like a swedish city...
18:54 December 6, 2010 by Michael Whitfield
Riding a train in the winter in Sweden with snow everywhere and a beautiful nature to observe! Does it get any better than this? Swedes are actually quite lucky to have fast and efficient trains. Of course I am a train buff.
09:56 December 7, 2010 by Nicklouse
the photo is Åre. try looking.

and yes the trains are getting as bad as the UK.
10:00 December 7, 2010 by An08drew
Re: The photo - Steffan Nilsson/SJ (File) might be a clue as to the origin of the photo. Also enlarge the image and the taxi in the background has a yellow licence plate. The mix and match carriages on the train also suggest Sweden - judging by the trains going through Are Station (you can watch the webcam on www.webbkameror.se).

However, UK tour companies have been known to substitute photos in tourist brochures or even duplicate for different locations!!!
16:47 December 7, 2010 by jimfromcanada
If you think trains are bad in Sweden, you haven't been to Canada. When we were in Stockholm a couple of years ago the trains worked very well for us. The comment in the article that the problems with the heavy snow and ice disrupting train service likely points to the real cause for reduced ratings. People rely on train service to be predictable since it interfaces with many other transportation modes.
05:28 December 19, 2010 by Wireless.Phil
Makes me wonder why the USA is pushing high-speed rail.

What they are trying to do is bass-akwards.

High-speed should be a national project from coast to coast and boarder to boarder, with hubs or stations at certain locations in between and build off of that.

But no!

They gave states money to build high-speed trains, but only in those states.

Top-speed, you'd be lucky to hit 60Mph and never leave that state.
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