Daily departures from Stockholm to Hamburg and Malmö to Brussels are set to become a reality as soon as 2022, following a government decision on Thursday.
“This really gives the possibility to discover Europe in the most sustainable possible way,” said Financial Markets Minister Per Bolund.
The idea is for both routes to be in place by August 2022 at the latest.
Together with the Centre and Liberal parties, the Social Democrat-Green government agreed to earmark 300 million kronor in the autumn budget for train travel, due to high demand for climate friendly travel. And on Thursday the government asked the Swedish Transport Administration to begin work on the plans.
Currently, it is possible to travel on direct trains from Sweden to Denmark and Norway, as well as to Berlin in the summer months when the Snälltåget traffics a route to the German capital.
Due to the coronavirus there are restrictions on travel around Europe, with some countries either refusing to accept tourists from Sweden or issuing requirements such as a quarantine on arrival, and the Foreign Ministry recommending against non-essential travel to all but around a dozen EU countries.
When borders do start to open up again, there's likely to be high demand for international train travel due both to the climate crisis and the damage that the coronavirus emergency has done to the aviation industry, which may mean fewer departures and higher tickets for air travel.