• Sweden edition
 
Rail operator warns for winter travel woes

Rail operator warns for winter travel woes

Published: 09 Dec 2010 16:28 GMT+01:00
Updated: 09 Dec 2010 16:28 GMT+01:00

Although winter has only just gotten under way in the country, train delays have already crippled Sweden's rail system.

"Passengers are deeply inconvenienced," Riksdag transportation committee chair Anders Ygeman pointed out when when several of those responsible for recent ice">rail service disruptions were questioned in the Riksdag on Thursday.

He pointed out that although the winter has barely begun, passengers have endured train delays, cancellations and even evacuations.

Stockholm county governor Per Unckel presented the investigation he undertook after last year's train disruptions, which showed a lack of snowploughs and facilities for de-icing vehicles.

SJ's Forsberg stated that the 80-point action plan that was drawn up after last winter has been largely implemented.

Several short-term measures, many of which have already been implemented, include emergency plans, better weather forecasts and plans to reduce traffic so that departures are adjusted to ensure other traffic flows better.

"Our Achilles heel was that we had damaged vehicles, which resulted in a delicate situation for us," he said.

Forsberg pointed out that the express X2000 trains are 17 years old and in great need of a facelift.

He noted that it has increased de-icing capabilities, improved the protection of train underframes, reinforced locomotive parts against elk collisions and made better preparations to inform passengers when traffic problems arise.

SJ has also developed traffic reduction plans.

"If we get a winter like last year, we will go with a 20 percent reduction," said Forsberg.

When asked if the vehicle situation is worse than last winter, Forsberg replied, "Yes, it is, unfortunately."

An X2000 train has been removed from service completely due to a train crash in Östergötland in September.

In addition, three X2000 trains have been set aside for review since they were the three vehicles SJ have had the most problems with. Another seven to eight InterCity trains have also been taken out of service after cracks were discovered in the wheels of a locomotive in Norway last autumn.

"This of course means that if there are traffic problems, we are just at the limit of what we need, or precisely, we have less than what we need," said Forsberg.

He was unable to reassure passengers that trains would arrive in time for Christmas, adding it costs money to have functioning train service.

Service and communication union Seko ombudsman Johnny Nadérus directed devastating criticism at the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) for SJ's woes.

"There is talk of resources and readiness. However, soon, there will only be one old guy left out there shoveling snow," he said, pointing out the staff reductions that have occurred in recent years.

Preparations that were supposed to have been carried out on October 15th have not been accomplished, he added.

"Fifty hours after a class 2 weather warning in Malmö is definitely grounds for an inquiry," said Nadérus.

He also cited problems with switches that have loose screws and the lack of maintenance on overhead lines at the same time as a major reallocation of investments and maintenance have been transferred from rail to road.

Lars Yngström, vice president of industry association Tågoperatörerna, was also critical of rail maintenance.

"One cannot remove snow at the desk. At the end of the day, it requires a responsible human being," he said.

New statistics from the Transport Administration revealed that November was a problem-filled month for trains. The punctuality of passenger services was 86.2 percent compared with 90.2 percent in October.

Punctuality refers to trains that are not more than five minutes late.

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

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

16:57 December 9, 2010 by Vanity_of_the_Bonfires
I was in Sweden last year and took the train from Malmo to Falkenberg. It was absolutely the worst train ride I've ever been on. I hadn't been to Sweden for about 20 years and I was appalled to see how poor the rail system had become. Next time I'll rent a car. I don't know why Swedes put up with it. The passengers seemed to either take out their frustration on their fellow passengers or sit in quite toleration. Sad to see.

I love Sweden, it is a beautiful, prosperous country. With such punitive taxes, one would think the rail system would be better.

-Descendant of Swedish immigrants to the US
06:41 December 10, 2010 by Rap43
Ahhh... the benefits of a neo-conservative government!

Moderat times are good times... if you happen to be a corporation.
21:58 December 10, 2010 by kenny8076
i gave my cv to Sj in Karlstad...... was hoping to get a job doing anything.....cleaning the trains, cleaning the tracks,, construction.....something..... the guy told me theres about an absolute certainty i wont get a job with them...... he took my CV anyways....but i guess they are not hiring, or doing anything good from what i hear
Today's headlines
Getinge Floods
Swedish floods spread wider as rain continues
Photo: Anders Andersson/TT

Swedish floods spread wider as rain continues

UPDATED: The flood in southern Sweden spread further on Wednesday, with forecasters predicting rain all week. With the defence minister on the scene, officials have warned that up to 8,000 households risk evacuation. READ  

Top ministers count cost of 'less secure world'
Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Top ministers count cost of 'less secure world'

Foreign and Finance Ministers Carl Bildt and Anders Borg held a press conference on Wednesday to discuss how Sweden was being affected by a "less secure" world, and how it would foot the bill for a growing influx of refugees. READ  

Volvo profits saved by Chinese devotion
Volvo Cars chief executive Håkan Samuelsson. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Volvo profits saved by Chinese devotion

The now Chinese-owned Volvo Car Group announced a return to profits on Wednesday - thanks to the Swedish brand's popularity in China. READ  

Ikea founder gives giant donation to hometown

Ikea founder gives giant donation to hometown

Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad donated a gift to his hometown on Wednesday to the tune of 53 million kronor ($7.7 million). The cash is to be used for developing the area. READ  

Police hunt masked thief after Stockholm fire
Photo: Fanni Olin Dahl/TT

Police hunt masked thief after Stockholm fire

The Slussen tunnel in Stockholm began billowing out black smoke on Wednesday afternoon. Police believe that the fire was connected to an attempted robbery earlier in the day. READ  

Elections 2014
Parties duel as refugee costs rocket
Photos: TT

Parties duel as refugee costs rocket

Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and opposition leader Stefan Löfven clashed on Wednesday after the Migration Board asked for more money to handle Sweden's influx of refugees. READ  

Introducing: Sweden's five minority languages
The Sami in northern Sweden. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Introducing: Sweden's five minority languages

Did you know there are five official minority languages in Sweden? The Local's Isabela Vrba finds out what they are, how they're protected, and what rights their speakers have. READ  

Swedish docs puzzled by deformed penis trend

Swedish docs puzzled by deformed penis trend

More and more Swedish boys are born with deformed penises, and researchers are uncertain exactly what's behind the increase. READ  

The Local List
What Sweden means to you in just one Tweet
Photos: Shutterstock/Imagebank Sweden

What Sweden means to you in just one Tweet

The Local Sweden has been asking readers to squeeze their view of Sweden into just 140 characters or less. Here's what you came up with up for #SwedeninaTweet. READ  

Sweden and the Bronx
Swedes celebrate 375th anniversary of the Bronx
The Bronx. Photo:Shutterstock.

Swedes celebrate 375th anniversary of the Bronx

What do the Bronx and Sweden have in common? More than an affiliation with the Yankees, it turns out. And one small Swedish town is about to make that abundantly clear. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Politics
"Iraq reminds me of the Yugoslav wars. It's the same story."
Society
Swedes slam Danes for 'racist' art
National
Majority of Swedes favour more or just as many refugees
Society
Lock your bathrooms: Swedish toilet invader on the the loose
Blog updates

17 August

Sea Fever (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I’m going to keep this post short and sweet as its not something I take any pleasure in writing. After much deliberation I have made the heartbreaking decision to abandon my trip after 1200km due to reoccurring injury. It is not a decision I have made lightly and it is one that has been truly devastating..." READ »

 

17 August

St. Louis strong (Blogweiser) »

"It’s typically a bad sign when my hometown makes news in Sweden. St. Louis was in the headlines here a few years ago when a tornado struck the airport. The city also caught attention after a politician talked about ‘legitimate rape’. Now, shooting and riots this week in Ferguson, a part of St. Louis, are..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
'Assange will not leave until safe'
Gallery
See more images from the southern Sweden floods
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Society
Serial chicken smuggler caught at Norway border. Again.
Society
This gold coin may be the key to solving a Swedish massacre
Shutterstock
Lifestyle
The Swedish mentor (and why you may need one)
National
Food agency warns girls: 'Don't eat stinky fish'
Politics
Reinfeldt calls for tolerance to refugees
Gallery
People-watching August 16-17
National
Sweden celebrates 200 years of peace
Society
Top ten literal Swedish words
Politics
'Terror training should be illegal': Liberal Party
Gallery
Swedes talk about 200 years of national peace
Politics
Islamic extremist shakes Sweden with TV threat
National
Teacher fined for 'Hitler salute' in German class
Politics
Swedish politician proposes ban on begging
National
Swede asks for epidural and gets disinfectant
National
Swede reports 'expensive' sex to police
Education
Sweden plans to scrap SFI for adult education
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

682
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se