Finnish rail company VR Group has finalised its acquisition of Swedish intercity rail operator MTRX, adding the company to its long-distance operations. 

The Finnish government-owned railway company has acquired MTR Express (Sweden) from MTR Nordic and will add the operator’s six Stadler FLIRT trains and around 130 staff to its operations immediately.

VR Group CEO Elisa Markula said: “The market for commercial long-distance traffic in Sweden is about twice the size of Finland’s, and the modal share of rail transport of all passenger traffic is double compared to Finland. 

“I believe that this acquisition enables us to achieve profitable growth in a competitive market where customer experience is a competitive advantage.” 

In addition to expanding its international operations, the Finnish company said that it also hoped the acquisition would allow it to gain experience in the long-distance market as it prepares for increasing rail competition in Finland.

MTRX currently operates 126 services per week between Stockholm and Gothenburg, with VR expecting these trains to begin operating under its brand by November 2024.

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Notably, MTRX is also known in the Swedish industry for its customer service and has won an award from the Swedish Quality Index for passenger experience for the last eight years. 

MTRX CEO Filip Thunell said: “With a new stable and committed Nordic owner, we will continue our development. When we become VR, travellers will still recognise the attributes we are known for: our good service, our punctuality, and our affordable offer.” 

The deal will expand VR’s presence in Sweden which already includes bus, rail, and tram services after the company acquired Arriva Sweden in 2022.