Open Standard for Train Tickets Now Established in Sweden

The climate, and consumers alike, require a wider range of ground-based public transport nationally and internationally. To enable this, the underlying digital infrastructure for ticketing needs to be modernised using open standards. There is now a consensus in the industry regarding the choice of an open standard for train tickets.

Stockholm, 02 December 2022

Sweden is a frontrunner when it comes to the deregulation of public transport in relation to other countries in Europe. Today, rail traffic is completely deregulated, and Sweden's approximately ten railway operators and 21 regional public transport authorities currently operate bus and rail traffic anywhere in Sweden.

Samtrafiken has been the driving force in making Sweden's entire range of public transport products available to travellers. During the 30 years that the gradual deregulation has been in progress, Samtrafiken has enabled combined and multi-modal travel in cooperation with almost all of Sweden's carrier parties with the Resplus* service.

The climate crisis and the need to reduce using of cars and air travel mean that the range of public transport needs to be broadened.

For several decades, the railway industry has had to put up with locally, self-developed and outdated systems, and public transport ticketing systems that have not been compatible with each other. There has been a need to modernize the underlying infrastructure and to build it on open standards in order for public transport to be maintained and increase.

There is now a consensus in the industry regarding the choice of an open standard for train tickets. Sweden's new digital infrastructure for the distribution of reserved train tickets will be based on the international and open standard OSDM** (Open Sales and Distribution Model) developed by UIC (International Union of Railways).

For public local transport ticketing, the Swedish ticket and payment standard (BoB)***, jointly developed by Samtrafiken and many of our partners, is used.

OSDM means:

  • the booking process for travellers is simplified and improved
  • the distribution cost for the railway sector is reduced
  • a reduced supplier dependency since subsystems can be added or replaced more easily

Sweden is one of the first countries in Europe to implement OSDM. Others will follow closely with the CER (The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies) ticketing roadmap implementation.

“Consumers expect European rail traffic to have a relevant range of travel products that should be easy to access. We now make it possible to meet that need and we also make it easier to develop products for their benefit”, says Gerhard Wennerström, CEO of Samtrafiken.

“We look forward to managing the train tickets with a joint open standard. It simplifies the work of connecting existing and new players and will also contribute to reduced costs in the industry”, says Johan Hammar, Product Owner Standards at Samtrafiken.

Other train carriers that stand behind the standard include the state railway companies in Germany, Austria, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The implementation of the new digital infrastructure is underway, and a first version will be launched during the last quarter of 2023.

For more information, please contact:

Gerhard Wennerström, CEO Samtrafiken, gerhard.wennerstrom@samtrafiken.se, +46 707623876

Johan Hammar, Product Owner Standards, johan.hammar@samtrafiken.se, Samtrafiken, +46 727199330


*Resplus is a ticketing and travel collaboration that has tied together Sweden's public transport since 1991. Resplus makes it possible to travel by train, bus, subway, tram and boat on one and the same ticket. (https://samtrafiken.se/tjanster/resplus/)

** OSDM is a B2B Rail Sector Initiative (Railways and Ticket Vendors) seeking an Open IT- Specification for standardized interfaces and API:s, enabling dynamic tariff data exchange between companies, for rail and other modes of transport.

*** Ticket and payment standard (BoB) comprises definitions and interfaces that make it easier to build flexible ticketing solutions. It creates flexibility in the system supplier chain and enables secure validation of tickets for transport companies. (https://samtrafiken.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/BOB/overview)