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Sweden, Germany, Great Britain and the Netherlands were among the first EU countries that deregulated their rail freight markets in the mid-1990s. In 2007 the international rail freight market was opened. Given that all EU countries have committed themselves to deregulate their rail markets both the Swedish and European perspective are addressed.

The analysis of the Swedish market has been carried out by analyzing research and investigating reports, statistics, operators' annual reports and interviews. The limited review for the other countries is based solely on literature and statistics.

The market has been positively affected, although there are not several equal players. Real and threatening competition has contributed to improved cost efficiency and innovations. From about 2004, the market has become more international. It is necessary to analyze trends in various submarkets. The newly established operators run exclusively combined road/rail transports and system-transport, i. e. separated flows with relatively low risk levels. There are no major barriers to competition on the Swedish rail freight market. Several obstacles are related to cross-border transports. A major consolidation is going on the rail freight market. There is reason to follow up the development in the market for rail freight traffic in Sweden and in Europe.

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