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Deregulation, Eurostyle: Swedish National Rail OKs use of Ikea trains

Swedish National Rail Administration (Banverket) has agreed to permit Ikea Rail to operate one train per day in each direction over the Oresund Bridge, using the Continental Line in Malmo — paving the way for Ikea to be the first private company in Europe, post rail-deregulation, to operate its own cross-border freight trains.

Ikea may run the trains for up to two years using the T66 diesel locomotive, after which the company must convert to electric operation. Under the deal’s terms, trains can’t be operated at night; they also must use only "environmental Class I" fuel, according to a Banverket statement.

Ikea plans to run trains between the central stores in Almhult and the junction station at Duisburg, Germany; the trains will replace 50 daily lorries.

Banverket officials believe the Ikea trains have the potential to demonstrate that "self-operated, fast, cross-border freight trains" can be used successfully in Europe, said Assistant Market Manager Peter Wadman in a prepared statement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/7/2002