The punctuality rates of Swedish Rail have plummeted over night. Passengers on a long-haul journey from Oslo were stranded for four hours on Monday morning. The press suspects sabotage but Swedish Rail is keeping schtum.
An overnight train from Olso to Stockholm with 230 passengers onboard came to a standstill on Monday morning, just outside Katrineholm.
The driver had earlier reported a problem with the breaks. But at a red signal stop around 6am, a wave of smoke appeared between the engine and the first carriage.
Monday’s Expressen says: “It could be sabotage.” Swedish Rail’s Kajsa Moström says: “We don’t suspect anything right now.”
Swedish Rail (SJ) says the likelihood is that the train had driven over something, which damaged the brakes. And the smoke was caused due to the train travelling with the brakes on. Damage to the train has been discovered and investigators began looking for further clues on Monday afternoon.
According to Swedish Radio, SJ has reported the incident to the police, suggesting the tabloid cries of sabotage are fuelled with some truth.
Passengers were forced to languish for four hours before being evacuated. According to reports, it was the fault of railway authority Banverket, who dallied over closing down electricity lines before passengers could disembark safely.
SJ has an unhappy bunch of commuters on their hands. At around 10am Leif Ryd from Malmo told Expressen: “We are standing in a forest next to a broken down train and haven’t got a clue what’s happening.”
“The electricity is down, the toilets don’t work and we have even had any breakfast. We’re started to get a bit angry.”
Much to Leif’s relief, a replacement train arrived at around 11am and passengers reached Stockholm Central just after 12 noon.
Train delays were rife as a result of the incident and bus replacement services came into effect.
Despite the lack of bacon rolls on board, Swedish rail did serve up the mandatory apology of sorts. “All passengers will get a full refund,” said Moström. “But those who are demanding further compensation must follow our complaint’s procedure.”