Hong Kong-based MTR has secured a ten-year contract from Sweden’s Stockholm County Council to operate and maintain the city’s suburban rail services via its subsidiary MTR Nordic.

From next December, MTR Nordic will own the Stockholm Pendeltåg concession, covering a 241km network spread across four routes, including Balsta-Nynäshamn, Märsta-Södertälje, Södertälje-Gnesta and Fairfield-Uppsala.

In addition to a four-year optional extension, the concession will see metro operator MTR manage the network’s 53 stations and be responsible for rolling stock maintenance and station management.

"We laid out a clear vision to improve the operational and customer service standards of the Stockholms Pendeltåg."

Currently operated by Swedish national train operator SJ subsidiary Stockholmståg, the Stockholms Pendeltåg network carries around 87 million passengers a year.

If the county council exercises the option, the contract could be worth up to Skr30bn ($3.5bn).

MTR was awarded this contract over Abellio, Keolis, Swedish national train operator SJ, and Tågkompaniet, according to railjournal.com.

MTR CEO Lincoln Leong said: "The awarding of this contract is further international recognition of MTR’s ability to deliver highly reliable train service and excellent customer service.

"This is also a deepening of our presence in Sweden where we have been operating the Stockholm Metro since 2009 and recently our concession, which was due to expire in 2017, was extended for another six years in recognition of our strong track record of service improvements.

"Our other wholly owned subsidiary MTR Express (Sweden) AB also successfully launched MTR Express, a premium-quality intercity service between Stockholm and Gothenburg, earlier this year."

As part of the deal, MTR will collaborate with rolling stock maintainer Euromaint for the maintenance and cleaning of its trains.

MTR European business director Morris Cheung said: "In our bid for this concession, we laid out a clear vision to improve the operational and customer service standards of the Stockholms Pendeltåg.

"As of today, we are moving forward with a clear focus on delivering systematic and long-term improvements for passengers from day one of the concession to make their journeys more pleasant with enhanced train service and cleaner and nicer stations."

In September, MTR subsidiary MTR Stockholm (MTRS) has won a six-year extension of concession agreement from the county council to operate the Stockholm Metro.

MTRS has been operating the Stockholm Metro since 2009 under an eight-year contract, and has been granted approval to continue operating the metro from 2017 to 2023.