Snowfalls cause widespread travel chaos
Published: 22 Feb 2010 07:53 GMT+01:00
Updated: 22 Feb 2010 07:53 GMT+01:00
- Transport hit as snowstorms ravage Sweden (21 Feb 10)
- Snow strains buildings to breaking point (20 Feb 10)
- Weather agency issues fresh storm warning (19 Feb 10)
Infrastructure Minister Åsa Torstensson has called the situation a "catastrophe" arguing that the National Rail Administration (Banverket) has not been taking its full maintenance responsibility for a long period of time.
Torstensson was also scathing of the way passengers have been treated over a weekend of delays and cancellations.
"Information is decisive in such a chaotic situation and it has not been adequate. People are not receiving information when they are sitting on the platform," she complained.
The Stockholm area is the hardest hit with the local transport authority, SL, warning people to stay at home on Monday if possible.
Large scale disruption in metro services has been forecast and temperatures as low as -25 Celsius have called a halt to train services from the capital to Gothenburg.
Many commuter rail services which run above ground were replaced with buses on Sunday night - affecting part of the green and red lines south with limited services set to persist into Monday.
Commuter services from Gnesta to Järna will be replaced by buses. Elsewhere trains will run at 25 percent of normal service.
As a result of the train and metro disruption, taxi services are reporting a high demand for their cars and long waits can be expected on Monday morning as rush hour commuters attempt to get to work.
At Slussen - one of the main metro and bus junctions in central Stockholm - arriving passengers were met with loud-speaker messages this morning urging them to walk or hail a taxi in order to continue their journeys.
National rail operator SJ experienced problems on its homepage over the weekend as server capacity proved inadequate. Access to SL's homepage was only sporadic on Monday morning as passengers scrambled to find information.
On the west coast, commuter services will run limited services on the Kungsbacka-Göteborg and Alingsås-Göteborg routes.
In southern regions, transport links are reported to be running as scheduled but the meteorological office, SMHI, has warned of problems later on Monday as winds and snow storms draw in.
Train services across the country are expected to experience problems for the remainder of the week despite attempts by the Rail Administration to reinforce staff numbers and battle to keep tracks clear of ice and snow and trains running.