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When will Christmas rail tickets be released in Sweden?

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When will Christmas rail tickets be released in Sweden?

The Swedish Transport Administration has finally released its train plan for next year, which will allow rail companies to open Christmas tickets for booking. How long will it take before they go on sale?


What's the problem? 

Christmas rail tickets are normally on sale from September, but most train companies, such as SJ and MTR, have so far only opened up bookings up until December 10th.

This is because the train plan for 2023 (Tågplan 2023), which coordinates the times for all passenger and goods trains in Sweden, has been delayed due to the Swedish Transport Administration’s switch to a digital system. 

The administration’s Director-General Roberto Maiorana said the new system represented a “paradigm shift”. 

“We are moving from working with paper and pens to carrying this all out in a digital environment. Carrying out this change is not without its challenges and that has had an impact on the time it takes to complete the task,” he said. 

The train plan should have been published at the start of August, giving the SJ 18 weeks to set tickets from December 10th. 

Martina Nord, press spokesperson for SJ said that the delays in the train plan had been causing problems throughout the year. 

"According to the regulations, we should get the plan from the Transport Administration 18 weeks before we are due to release tickets, but because that has not been possible, we have agreed to 13 weeks," she said.

"During the summer, however, we have sometimes received notification with as little as two weeks to go, and now just seven weeks. This is not sustainable for us, because we need several weeks to draw up our schema for both trains and personnel."


How long will it now take for Christmas rail tickets to be released? 

The Norwegian train company VY, which runs night trains between Stockholm and the very north of Sweden, has already released Christmas tickets, and plans to then adjust travel times to take into account the new timetable. 

For other smaller operators, such as Flixtrain, which runs trains from Stockholm to Gothenburg, or Snälltåget, which runs trains over Christmas from Malmö to the ski and hiking resorts in Jämtland county, it is relatively easy to adjust travel dates. 

Nord said it would take at least a few weeks for the company to release the tickets. 

"What I know is that by the end of this week, we will have a date [for when the tickets can be released]," she said. "It could take anything from two to four weeks to schedule everything. We have so many departures and there are so many trains that need to be put into the schema, with trains and personnel."

"We are doing everything we can to make this happen as fast as possible," she said. "We want nothing more than to be able to release tickets for our passengers, and understand their frustration." 



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