Stockholm commuter rail (Stockholms pendeltåg) is the commuter rail system in Stockholm County, Sweden. The system is an important part of the public transport in Stockholm, and is controlled by Stockholm Transport; the trains are operated under contract by Stockholmståg, part of the national railway SJ. The tracks are state-owned and administered by the Swedish Rail Administration.
During the years 1986 to 1996, important improvements were made to the railroads around Stockholm. Single-track stretches were upgraded to double tracks, and some double-track stretches were upgraded to four-track, allowing the commuter trains to run with less interference from other rail services. The service frequency was gradually increased, and from 2001 most stations on the network are served by trains at regular 15-minute intervals, with additional trains during rush hours.
The latest extension to the commuter rail network is the outer stretch between Kungsängen and Bålsta that was opened 2001. An in-fill station at Årstaberg was inaugurated in 2006, in order to connect with the then-new Tvärbanan light-rail system.
Operation of the Stockholm commuter rail lines has been contracted to private companies since 2000. This change has meant longer working hours and worse retirement benefits for the personnel, and many drivers refused to sign up with the new contractor. The first year was chaotic with huge delays and lots of train services being cancelled. The situation has gradually improved, but the commuter rail still faces problems such as poor punctuality and a shortage of railroad engineers. The network is currently operated by Stockholmståg, a subsidiary of SJ AB, the former Swedish State Railways company.
|J35||Bålsta – Västerhaninge – Nynäshamn||1:44||107 km||27|
|J36||Märsta – Södertälje centrum||1:21||74 km||24|
|J37||Södertälje centrum – Gnesta||0:31||30 km||6|
|Entire commuter rail system||200 km||50|
There are three lines in the Stockholm commuter rail system. There are two long lines across the county which run through central Stockholm: route J35 runs from Nynäshamn in the southeast to Bålsta in the northwest, and J36 connects Södertälje in the southwest with Märsta in the north. The shorter route J37 in the southwest connects Gnesta to Södertälje. The total track length of the system is .
Because of the short station platforms and the lack of passing loops on the single-track portion of the Nynäs railway south of Västerhaninge, a train change takes place in Västerhaninge. Platform lengthening and the construction of passing loops are planned to be completed in fall 2008. However, the line will probably remain divided for some time, in order to sustain a higher level of punctuality in the more central parts of the network.
Trains operate every 30 minutes from 5 am to 1 am every day, with 15-minute intervals during the daytime. Additional trains during rush hours give an average of 7½ minutes intervals for many stations, and trains every 4 minutes on the central parts. Line J37 and outer parts of line J35 are served less frequently, with up to two hours between trains on weekends.
Most trains stop at all intermediate stations, except a few trains during rush hours that skip some smaller stations. 230,000 passengers use Stockholm commuter trains on an ordinary weekday.
Most stations are of a similar style, with an island platform in a ground-level location with one or two exits, turnstiles, and a staffed ticket office. A few interchange stations have multiple platforms. The stations south of Västerhaninge and Södertälje are smaller, and have no ticket vending facilities; passengers buy their tickets from the train conductor on these parts of the network.
Stockholm Central Station is by far the biggest station in the network, with more than 50,000 boarding commuter rail passengers per day. The smallest station is Hemfosa, which have approximately 75 boarding passengers per day.
The ten busiest stations (number of boarding passengers on a normal winter weekday 2005):
|1.||Stockholm C||53 800|
|2.||Stockholms södra||16 200|
|9.||Södertälje centrum||7 100|
Franchising spreads across Nordic countries; franchising of passenger rail services is well established in Sweden. Norway has just started the process, and the first international franchise involving Denmark and Sweden is planned.(Nordic Operators)
Oct 01, 2005; NORWAY awarded its first passenger rail franchise in May and now plans to franchise two more lines. All loss-making passenger...