Stockholm-Hamburg could also be an option for sleeper trains, but further investigation about competition on the route is needed, writes the Swedish Transport Administration in a statement.
In the future, it continues, trains could take passengers from Sweden to even more destinations across continental Europe overnight, for example to Brussels, Berlin, Frankfurt and Basel.
The statement comes after the Swedish centre-left coalition government commissioned a report meant to outline how state procurement of night trains from Sweden could work in practice.
The report is to be presented in April, but transport authorities already have a pilot route in mind.
“As a first step we suggest proceeding with a connection between Malmö and southern Germany, preferably Cologne. The travel time is reasonable and there are good opportunities for further connections from Cologne,” said Anna Fällbom, head of traffic agreements and transport networks at the Swedish Transport Administration.
The first night trains could start rolling from southern Sweden to Cologne in two to three years “at the earliest”, according to the statement.
“However, that is assuming that necessary agreements with the countries concerned are in place, that there are operators who are interested and can provide vehicles and that the legal process does not drag on.”
The announcement comes as interest in train travel is apparently booming in Sweden.
One Facebook group dedicated to tips for train travel, Tågsemester, has gained over 100,000 members, while a campaign aimed to persuade Swedes to spend a year without flying, Flygfritt 2019, received widespread media coverage and public support last year.
That's after flygskam or 'flying shame', a word to describe the shame felt by climate-conscious air travellers, was named as one of 2018's Swedish words of the year.
train – (ett) tåg
procurement – (en) upphandling
vehicle – (ett) fordon
passenger – (en) passagerare
traffic – trafik