• Sweden edition
 

Rail and air travel suffer widespread disruption

Published: 02 Dec 2010 13:19 GMT+01:00
Updated: 02 Dec 2010 13:19 GMT+01:00

Sweden's train service remained interrupted for the third straight day, the country's national rail operator announced on Thursday, as traffic delays extended to flights in Stockholm and Malmö.

Even on Thursday, travellers can expect train and flight cancellations due to snow, cold and winds.

The winter chill has also affected air traffic at Stockholm's Arlanda airport and in Malmö, with Swedish meteorological institute SMHI issuing a class 1 warning for the Skåne region.

SMHI joined the transport authority on Thursday to advise road users to stay at home in Skåne.

Five train departures Sundsvall and Östersund to Stockholm were replaced by buses, affecting about 1,000 passengers. The previous interruption on the main line in southern Sweden is also a factor in the delays given that the trains are not in the right place.

"However, we expect traffic to return to normal during the day," said Dan Olofsson in SJ's press office.

The traffic situation generally remained difficult in Skåne overnight and the snow and brisk winds posed problems for trains and buses. According to Roland Olsson of regional public transport operator Skånetrafiken's activity duties, travellers can expect delays of up to 40 minutes.

"All trains in Skåne are affected," he said.

In particular, the Ystad line may be particularly trying when it comes to cancelled trips. Buses will replace services, although road traffic is also affected by the inclement weather.

In southeastern Skåne, several schoolbuses were canceled on Thursday, local newspaper Ystad Allehanda reported on its website. They were cancelled in Simrishamn, as well as in Ystad, Tomelilla and Skurup outside urban areas.

A slew of traffic accidents occurred in the morning, but no serious injuries were reported.

Strong winds have resulted in the imposition of restrictions for traffic across the Öresund Bridge connecting Malmö to Copenhagen.

Wind-sensitive vehicles were advised not to drive over the bridge and at the same time, vehicles were told to lower their speeds to 70 kilometres an hour. The restrictions are expected to remain in place this afternoon.

At Arlanda airport, fog and ice resulted in delays. The current capacity of the airport is only 32 departures or landings an hour compared with 82 normally.

Passengers can expect delays of about 40 minutes, but the situation can quickly change, airport information director Jan Lindqvist told news agency TT.

At Malmö airport, travellers can also expect delays, but planes can land and take off. The problem is that snow quickly blows back onto the runways shortly after snow removal.

The delays were about an hour in the morning and according to press coordinator Helena Dolfie, they will continue throughout the day.

TT/The Local/vt (news@thelocal.se)

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