SWEDISH open-access operator Snälltåget has announced that its Stockholm - Malmö service will be extended to Copenhagen on May 16. Ticket sales are now open.

There will be two services a day in each direction until September 29, connecting the capitals of Sweden and Denmark, the two largest cities in the Nordic region.

Snälltåget passengers travelling to Copenhagen are currently required to change to Öresundståg services in Malmö. The company hopes that its direct services to Copenhagen Central station in the city centre will attract more business.

The new services leave Stockholm at 09.33 and 16.20 and depart Copenhagen at 07.02 and 16.07. The 16.20 departure from Stockholm and 07.02 train from Copenhagen are services to and from Berlin, and call at Copenhagen Ørestad only.

Intermediate stops are made at Södertälje, Norrköping, Linköping, Nässjö, Alvesta, Hässleholm, Eslöv, Lund, Malmö and Copenhagen Ørestad.

The fastest journey time is 5h 30min. Fares start at SKr 299 ($US 21.15) for a single adult journey from Stockholm to Copenhagen, with discounted fares available for adults travelling together or with children under 16.

The trains will include a restaurant car between Stockholm and Malmö. At weekends the 09.33 departure from Stockholm and the 16.07 train from Copenhagen will offer catering facilities beyond Malmö.

“Direct trains to and from Copenhagen mean that we can offer an easier and better train journey for many travellers," says Mr Marco Andersson, commercial manager at Snälltåget.