Despite staff cuts and major traffic disruptions, passenger traffic also improved in 2014, with an annual increase of 2% and a 6% increase in the final quarter. On the Stockholm – Gothenburg and Sundsvall – Umeå routes, passenger traffic grew by as much as 13%, while passenger traffic also grew in first class.

"The positive earnings trend gives us scope to continue to invest and develop SJ to an increasingly competitive and agile business where any changes lead to improvements for our customers," says Mr Crister Fritzson, SJ president.

SJ long-distance train punctuality was up 3% in 2014 to 81% compared with 78% in 2013. However, regional train punctuality remained the same as the previous year at 89%.

"Punctuality is absolutely crucial whether customers choose to travel with us or not. That is why our main task is to continuously work to improve punctuality. It is gratifying that our work produces results even if we didn't achieve our annual target of 88% punctuality for long-distance trains," says Fritzson."