”It is effectively a cut in the bloodstream when it stops south of Stockholm. There are only two ways in to the city centre, and the traffic has had to go northwards,” Maricka Berggren of train company SJ told the TT news agency.
The collapsed line, most likely due to rough weather, caused one train to get stuck in a tunnel at 6.30am for three hours, until emergency services and police could release them.
Between 20 and 25 people were stuck on the early morning train for hours, according to Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper, and many more were stuck on platforms in the freezing cold.
Örjan Wallin was one of those trapped, and claims to have been stuck for three and half hours on the cold train.
“It got a little chilly on the train, but we all sat their peacefully and read the paper or typed on mobile phones,” he told DN.
Other commuters were not as calm.
“This is the worst train system in the world north of Bangladesh,” grumbled one commuter to TT news-agency.
“We’re used to it”.
Trains travelling south of the capital were delayed by as much as two hours after the incident, many commuters opting to move northwards out of the city instead of taking their chances waiting for the south bound train lines to reopen.
Information boards were also out of order, and travellers had trouble connecting with SJ to query about the delays.
In a separate incident, rail traffic passing Nässjö was delayed because of a fire in an industrial building, which created a massive explosion risk due to gas containers inside the building.
This potential hazard halted trains heading towards Malmö and Gothenburg. Rescue services however, extinguished the flames quickly.
Meanwhile, the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) on Thursday released a statement indicating that 87.1 percent of the country’s passenger trains ran on time over the previous year.
The statement also said that 76.2 percent of the country’s freight trains were on time in 2011.