Arlanda Express

An airport train service undergoes a MACH transformation

Building a better customer experience for Stockholm’s best airport-to-city travel option



  • Travel and Hospitality
  • Mobility


  • Microsoft
  • Contentful

Get to know Arlanda Express

Arlanda Express

Arlanda Airport is Stockholm’s main airport. The airport lies 37 kilometers north of the city, a significant distance for airport taxis or airport buses to cover. The Arlanda Express train service makes this journey in 18 minutes. At peak travel times, Arlanda Express runs six trains per hour. The service is owned and operated by A-Train AB, which has an exclusive lease on the train line until 2050.

Sustainability is core to A-Train’s mission. Their Arlanda Express trains are operated 100% on electricity that carries the “Good Environmental Choice” label. This means the electricity comes from renewable energy sources, such as hydropower, wind power and biofuels. A-Train is currently working to make Arlanda Express net zero by the end of 2025/2026.

Four smartphones displaying screens of a travel booking app with options to buy tickets, select passengers, and payment methods.

The business impacts of a fragmented customer experience

Arlanda Express

Arlanda Express has been running its airport train service for 25 years. As is common among service providers in the travel sector, its legacy systems were beginning to feel cobbled together.

This was most apparent in the customer experience. Points of sale — kiosks, the website, an app — had been built on an ad-hoc basis and had never been unified. This made for a fragmented experience. Tickets purchased on one channel could not be viewed on another channel (e.g., if you bought a train ticket at a kiosk, you could not access that ticket through the Arlanda Express app).

Pricing was similarly fragmented. Because of inconsistent restrictions across sales channels, travelers on the same train might pay different prices, depending on whether they purchased online or from a kiosk.

Even the employee experience suffered. Because of the fractured ticketing system, train attendants had to carry several large pieces of hardware to check passengers’ tickets. One machine would read tickets purchased through one channel, another machine would read tickets purchased through another, and so on. Machine maintenance and even battery life became ongoing problems.

All of this created business-critical concerns for Arlanda Express. Bus, taxi and ride-sharing services were emerging as competitors, even though the train service was much faster and had exclusive use of the rail lines.

The Arlanda Express team came to Valtech for help in transforming its sales channels, its ticket-checking systems and the back end that connects both.

Person using a laptop displaying a travel webpage with next train departures from Stockholm C and Arlanda.

Rebuilding the entire ticketing system

Arlanda Express

Discovery helped us define a strategy and outline an ecosystem that could disconnect the sales channels from back-end services and give Arlanda Express an omnichannel setup. We proposed a MACH (microservices-based, API-first, cloud-native SaaS, and headless) architecture to support this setup and enable future partner integrations.

New ecommerce and on-site sales channels

We helped build a new website with Contentful and Gatsby.js. We also helped build a new customer mobile app to replace existing iOS and Android apps. Both were designed with an eye toward supporting future services and improving customers’ digital experiences.

Further, we began to replace the physical ticket vending machines. The existing machines had issues with updates, were not user-friendly and were inconsistent with the Arlanda Express brand.

With the microservices architecture we proposed, ticket pricing is uniform across channels, and tickets are accessible across channels.

New solutions for employees

We replaced train attendants’ numerous handheld devices with a single iOS app. This made the jobs of train attendants easier to perform, and it gave Arlanda Express an easy way to automate passenger number tracking.

A new back-office system

We also built and implemented a new back-office system for the operations and customer service teams. This was built on the same solutions as the sales channels so all systems could be unified.


Arlanda Express

  • Revenue: The new website has been a significant source of revenue growth. Web sales grew from 10% of total revenue to approximately 30%.

  • True omnichannel: We unified multiple points of sale that had their own pricing rules. Now, passengers can buy the same ticket at the same price from the app, the website or the kiosk.

  • Usability: The employee experience for train attendants was significantly improved. Before, they had to carry several pieces of heavy hardware to check passengers’ tickets. Now, they can carry a smartphone.


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