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'Too cold' for trains in northern Sweden

TT/The Local/pvs · 5 Feb 2012, 08:55

Published: 05 Feb 2012 08:55 GMT+01:00

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"It is due to the cold. The trains can be left stationary on the line," said Anders Edgren at SJ's press office.

Services between Luleå and Narvik in Norway suffered disruption on Saturday and SJ has announced that night train services from Gothenburg and Stockholm to Kiruna and Luleå have been cancelled on Sunday.

"The trains can be left standing and evacuations would take too long. It gets cold fast and we can't guarantee travellers' safety," Edgren explained.

SJ explained that it was following the recommendation of the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) not to operate trains in the area due to the extreme temperatures.

The disruption affected seven departures on Saturday, which were not replaced with coaches for the same reasons. The trains are most likely to stand still throughout Sunday as the February freeze holds Sweden in its grasp.

Affected travellers are entitled to re-book their tickets to another date without charge, the firm announced.

"It is set to continue to be cold, so there is a risk for problems tomorrow (Sunday) as well," Anders Edgren confirmed.

The Transport Administration recommends that car drivers avoid long journeys during the cold snap. The treacherous roads and cold winds have increased the risk for accidents and thus queues.

Story continues below…

For those who simply have to make their journeys, the administration recommended taking extra warm clothes, food and drinks, and a torch.

Temperatures in the far north of Sweden, which have been hovering around -30 degrees Celsius for the past few days are set to fall further on Monday and Tuesday before easing off towards the end of the week.

Milder weather is forecast to sweep in across the country on Wednesday bringing with it the chance of snowfalls.

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

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Your comments about this article

14:31 February 5, 2012 by gabeltoon
Take notice to the advice given folks. Here in the UK people have chosen to ignore the warnings and are now stranded and blocking the highways, stopping the emergency crews from being able to help.
15:51 February 5, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
Well said: such advice is not given for the fun of it.
19:35 February 5, 2012 by johnny1939
Bring out the old trains out of mothballs!!! We didn't seem to have these problems in the "olden days".
23:02 February 5, 2012 by BillyB
08:58 February 6, 2012 by karex
@johnny1939 I noticed the same thing! We had not toruble when we commuted in one of those old trains, then it was replaced by a new double-decker and it seems the thing spends more time broken down than working.

The warning is sound. I was in the US some 20 years ago when we experienced arctic temperatires in the midwest. The record was -52 degrees, and LOTS of snow. If you must venture out, make believe that you will go camping and take everything you need to rought things out if necessary. I had a complete snow suit, shovel, chains for my tires and for pulling myself or others out of drifts, jumper cables, extra battery, a box with canned foods, water, lots of chocolates and other food items, matches in plastic bags, electric torches and spare batteries, etc... in short, prepare yourself for any eventuality. We can't survive in this weather for very long if we're not prepared.
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