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Sweden to have direct daily night trains to Germany and Belgium within two years

Travel may be complicated right now, but within two years it should be possible to take a direct train from Sweden to Hamburg and even all the way to Brussels.

Sweden to have direct daily night trains to Germany and Belgium within two years
It should soon be possible to make the journey from Stockholm to Hamburg by train. Photo: Tove Liu/Pexels

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.

 

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SAS

Scandinavian airline SAS plans to launch electric planes in 2028 

Despite a number of economic challenges, airline SAS has announced an agreement with a Swedish company that will enable it to purchase electric aircraft and add them to its fleet. 

Scandinavian airline SAS plans to launch electric planes in 2028 

SAS has signed an agreement with Swedish company Heart Aerospace that could see it operating electric planes from 2028, the airline said in a press statement.

The model of plane that SAS would purchase from Heart Aerospace seats 30 passengers and has a range of 200 kilometers, SAS wrote.

“Along with the entire industry, we are responsible for making air travel more sustainable,” CEO of SAS Anko van der Werff said in the statement.

“SAS is dedicated to transforming air travel so future generations can continue to connect the world and enjoy the benefits of travel – but with a more sustainable footprint,” he said.

The aircraft will be installed with a hybrid system enabling them to double their range, SAS wrote.

“This has the potential to be a significant step on SAS’ sustainability journey, enabling zero-emission flights on routes within Scandinavia,” the press release stated. 

SAS has previously been involved in the development of another electric aircraft, the ES-30, which it partnered with Heart Aerospace on in 2019.

“The electric airplane will be a good supplement to our existing fleet, serving shorter routes in Denmark, Norway and Sweden in a more sustainable way,” van der Werff said.

READ MORE: SAS cancels 1,700 flights in September and October 

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