Rush hour chaos on Stockholm underground

Wildcat strike action by train drivers threw Stockholm's underground system into chaos on Thursday morning. Many trains were prevented from leaving the depots in Högdalen in the south of the city and Vällingby in the north west.

At about 6.30am only 18 out of 55 trains were in operation. All lines were affected by cancellations.

“The situation is worst at stations such as Slussen and Gullmarsplan, where buses from the suburbs connect with the underground, said Björn Johansson at the Connex press office.

Replacement buses were brought in to ferry passengers from station to station but there were serious delays in the morning rush hour.

The buses don’t have room to carry everyone,” said Johansson.

The trains which were operating were instructed to service the city centre, with traffic terminating at Liljeholmen and Gullmarsplan.

“Our advice to travellers is to allow extra time,” said Björn Johansson.

The disruption led to a surge in business for Stockholm’s taxi companies. Taxi Stockholm was prioritising all pre-booked trips and many who needed to get to work quickly found themselves unable to get a taxi during the rush hour.

“We just don’t have enough cars – although we had prepared for this we have an awful lot to do,” said Anna Johansson, on Taxi Stockholm’s switchboard, to TT.

The train drivers are striking in support for Per Johansson, the chairman of the Connex chapter of Swedish Union of Service and Communication Employees (Seko), who was fired by the transport company last week.

Connex maintains that Per Johansson had been disloyal to the company and had bullied colleagues. But his supporters say that he was fired for criticising the Connex’s safety work.

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