The review, which will be completed by the end of 2013, will be based on interviews and deeper investigations into all of the various players active today in the complicated railway system.
The railways are a special breed because there are so many different actors involved, according to Claes Norgren, an auditor at the National Audit Office, who is involved in the project.
“We always investigate the government, and we’ll also review the Swedish Traffic Agency. But there are others – SJ, Jernhusen, other supervisory authorities. So there are a wide range of state-run actors active in this area,” Norgren says.
Train punctuality in Sweden has worsened since 2007 when 92 percent of trains were on time. Today, only 89 percent of trains pull into stations according to the schedule.
In the Audit Office’s pre-study of the railway network the auditors have decided to focus on three issues that they say are key to ensuring trains keep to the schedule.
“The first is the upkeep of the trains and the second is the tracks,” says Norgren. “The third is how we are managing the so-called capacity management, how we are managing the traffic on the rails.”