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Rail operator was 'unprepared' for winter

TT/The Local/dl · 15 Dec 2010, 14:55

Published: 15 Dec 2010 14:55 GMT+01:00

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However, SJ head Jan Forsberg also listed a number of measures that have been taken to help the train operator deal with future demands on Sweden’s rail system.

And with an estimated 1 million Swedes expected to travel by train this holiday season, Forsberg was also cautiously optimistic about SJ’s ability to handle the holiday travel rush, although he stopped short of making any guarantees.

“Our ambition is that we will try to make sure that Christmas travel goes as well as it possibly can,” he said.

He pointed out as well that Sweden’s National Transit Authority (Trafikverket), which oversees the country’s entire rail network, must also take responsibility for ensuring that the trains run on time.

According to SJ board chair Ulf Adelsohn, 80 percent of train delays can be attributed to the rail system, rather than the trains themselves.

“The signaling system, switches, overhead contact lines and signal boxes are the most important. We simply want to be able to arrive,” said Adelsohn.

He added that SJ’s finances are in good shape and it has enough money to implement measures to deal with Sweden’s winter weather.

“Today the board has decided, among other things, to invest in 20 new high-speed trains,” Adelsohn said.

The new trains will replace the current fleet of X-2000 trains and will be able to reach speeds of 250 kilometres per hour.

But SJ is going to let the government have the final say – the decision to spend the estimated 5-6 billion kronor ($730-880 million) will be made at the company’s upcoming annual meeting.

Story continues below…

“It’s a huge investment of 5-6 billion kronor,” said Adelsohn.

He went on to confess that the X-2000 fleet is “a little worn down” and considers the new trains as important to ensuring that Sweden isn’t “left without” a high-speed rail system in the coming years.

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

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Your comments about this article

15:54 December 15, 2010 by millionmileman
It does not matter how fast a train goes, if the overhead lines and pantographs freeze then the half-fast train is going nowhere.

I bet the old Nohab steam locomotives always worked, and I never see photos of snow plows on the electric locomotives. Is that because the do not have enough weight?
16:54 December 15, 2010 by JPG
"unprepared for winter"

As predictable things go, seasons are pretty reliable, yet this year wasn't it a surprise! no? not really.
17:13 December 15, 2010 by Liquidmonkey
since when is winter a secret SJ?

same time, same place.... EVERY YEAR for oh, i dunno, the last 500 years!!!!!

SJ is just trying to save cash on much needed maintenance, it is THAT SIMPLE.
18:04 December 15, 2010 by Tennin
I guess they didn't learn from last winter. I also agree with comment #1 the speed of the train isn't going to to anything.
18:34 December 15, 2010 by MikeSar
1. If my memory serves, which is doubtful, the new trains will have no problems in any kind of weather, except side wind gusts over 80 kph with light loads, but they can slow down and survive.

2. This is temporary, Global Warming will make Sweden the destination of choice for the wealthy, first, and, if you don't close your borders, the rest of the world. In the USA, Canada will fill up with English and Spanish speaking people, the survival of the French language may be at risk. Those left behind will settle in the East and West coasts and the high areas in Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, etc. Global Warming also means more clouds and more rain, or snow, everywhere. The snow will melt earlier and earlier with floods, like they had recently in Bangladesh and Pakistan.
19:11 December 15, 2010 by BigBilly
@MikeSar The second part of what you say is truly a crock of smelly stuff.
20:06 December 15, 2010 by ingka
I guess that MikeSar's point is exactely the same amount of bullocks as SJ declaring that they weren't prepared for winter. I totally agree with Liquidcompany. SJ is simply one of the most incompetent trainoperators in Europe, overspending on fancy advertising, glossy magazines, ticketing technologies etc and by that pretending they are one of the modern companies around... simply overlooking the fact that transport is the core business .. not looking fancy.

Function will always go for design .. if the subject in question is not suposed to be art. In which case you could consider SJ to be art ..
00:20 December 16, 2010 by saab
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
03:15 December 16, 2010 by saraswed
unprepared really ??i spent hours on broken xj2000 from Stockholm to Goteborg .from lost of signal to so many excuses.how can i go out in the snow without jacket ???? at lease head-warmer
04:54 December 16, 2010 by BarCode
Saab: you are engaged in ThoughtCrime.
10:02 December 16, 2010 by Nemesis
@ saab,

I would suggest you buy yourself a book called 1984 by Geroge Orwell, assuming you don't already have it.

As for the trains. It is scandinavia and winter. Happens every year.

If some idiot in SJ decided that there was to be no more winter for financial reason, that person should be fired and handed over to a psychiatrist.
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