MTR beat off competition from Abellio, Keolis, Swedish national train operator SJ, and Tågkompaniet for the contract, which could be worth up to SKr 30bn ($US 3.5bn) if the county council exercises an option for a four-year extension. In addition to operations, MTR will be responsible for rolling stock maintenance and station management.

The 241km four-line network, which is currently operated by SJ subsidiary Stockholmståg, carries around 87 million passengers per year and serves 53 stations. A significant operational change will come early in the new concession with the opening of the Stockholm City Line in 2017, which will divert suburban rail services away from the congested Stockholm Central - Stockholm South line onto a new underground alignment via a new interchange with the metro network at Odenplan.

The agreement rounds off a successful year for MTR in Sweden. In September Stockholm County Council extended MTR's operating concession for the Stockholm metro from 2017 to 2023, while in March MTR Nordic launched its MTR Express open-access long-distance service  between Stockholm and Gothenburg.