Swedish train services halted across country

Train service in eastern Sweden's Östergötland came to a grinding halt on Tuesday due to downed electrical wires in two separate places between Nörrköping and Mjölby.

Swedish train services halted across country

According to national rail operator SJ, an estimated 700 to 800 people on board three trains between Norrköping and Mjölby are being evacuated.

“We are evacuating them now. We are picking them up with buses. We hope to be able to run as normal tomorrow,” said Ulf Wallin, deputy press director at SJ, to the TT news agency.

The line lost power at 11.49am in two places between Kimstad and Gistad, local newspaper Östgöta Correspondenten reported on its website on Tuesday.

Separately, in western Sweden, a train lift bridge in Trollhättan stuck in the upright position caused another stoppage, but train service resumed operation after 2.30pm.

In Östergötland, trains on the Stockholm-Malmö line have been diverted through Hallsberg south of Örebro instead.

“However, three or four trains on the way from Malmö are firmly out of service,” said SJ spokesperson Thelma Henrysson.

Consequently, all local public transportation services in the affected areas were idled on Tuesday afternoon.

The Swedish Transport Adminstration (Trafikverket) has estimated that the damage to the wires should be repaired at 6pm, newspaper Aftonbladet reported on Tuesday, citing press officer Claes Lundstedt.

However, it has not yet issued a firm forecast on when train services will resume normal operation in Östergötland.

As of 2.30pm, an X2000 express train in Kimstad left in complete darkness had not yet been evacuated, Corren reported on Tuesday.

“For now, the trains are heated. However, if the evacuation takes time, it can understandably get be cold on board, but how quickly and how cold is difficult to answer,” SJ press officer Sven-Ingvar Håkansson told Corren on Tuesday.

Buses are currently replacing the 5.11am, 6.14am and 9.15am departures from Malmö to Stockholm between Mjölby, Linköping and Norrköping, SJ wrote on its website.

Passengers travelling further towards Katrineholm, Stockholm and Nyköping will depart from Norrköping for their connections.

For passengers from Stockholm to Copenhagen, buses will take them from Linköping to Mjölby, where they will take a train to Malmö, then take the Öresund train to Copenhagen.

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Trains delayed and roads slippery in Sweden despite lower snowfall

Sweden's state-owned rail company SJ cancelled several train services on Tuesday as a result of the snowy weather, while forecasters warned that roads could still be slippery in many regions.

Trains delayed and roads slippery in Sweden despite lower snowfall

SJ is cancelling several regional trains on Tuesday between Stockholm and Uppsala, Stockholm and Västerås, and Gävle and Linköping at the request of the Swedish Transport Administration, which wants to free up space on the tracks. 

At the same time, weather forecaster SMHI warned that, while snowfall would decrease over the day, there would still be a risk of slippery roads in many areas.

“It’s still continuing to snow, but the intensive snowfall we are now warning about will come to an end during the day, starting in the south of the country,” state meteorologist Angelica Lundberg told the TT newswire.  “Over the coming days there may be an increased risk of slipping and this is the case most of all close to the coast.” 

Bengt Olsson, press officer for the Swedish Transport Administration, told SVT that the disruptions seen on Sunday and Monday looked likely to ease off on Tuesday. 

“It’s a bit calmer so far. There’s another type of road surface to day. It’s starting to freeze up a but. There’s a lot of crust from the snow and patches of ice out on the road, so its the risk of skidding that we are trying to deal with today.”

The slippery roads have led to some busses being cancelled, with Dalatrafiken, the bus operator in Dalarna, cancelling several regional bus services. 

Buses parked at the Keolis bus depot in Värtahamnen cruise terminal in Stockholm.
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Stockholm’s transport operator SL suspended the Lindingöbanan Light-railway line on Tuesday morning, and has also reduced some commuter train services. In Söderort, Huddinge and Botkyrka all bus services have been cancelled. 

“The measures taken to prevent skidding aren’t working,” SL’s press spokesperson Andreas Strömberg told SVT. “At Juliaborg in Huddinge six of our buses got stuck, so the traffic controllers decided to cancel all further services so we can get in snow ploughs.

Snow was continuing to fall on Tuesday over much of central Sweden, and SMHI has issued the lowest “yellow” weather warning for Sörmland, Västmanland, Örebro, Dalarna, and the north of Värmland. 

In most places, there is now between 5cm-15cm of snow, with 20cm in some places.