‘Too cold’ for trains in northern Sweden

The plunging mercury has put a stop to rail services to the far north of Sweden on Sunday with rail operator SJ explaining that it was just too cold to guarantee safety.

'Too cold' for trains in northern Sweden

“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.

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.

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So did Sweden beat its all-time temperature record on Thursday? Not quite

Sweden on Thursday came close to beating its 75-year-old temperature record, but fell short by just under one degree with a top temperature of 37.2C.

So did Sweden beat its all-time temperature record on Thursday? Not quite

The village of Målilla in Småland came close to beating the 38C heat record it set in 1947, logging a temperature of 37.2C. 

“It’s the highest temperature recorded in Sweden since 1947,” Mattias Lind, a meteorologist at Sweden’s state forecaster SMHI, told the country’s TT newswire. 


As the punishing heat seen across the rest of Europe briefly rose up to touch Sweden, several cities beat their own records, with Linköping setting a new record with a 36.9C temperature. The city of Jönköping, with 35.3C, recorded the highest temperature since records began in 1858. 

Even the north of Sweden saw the mercury rise above 30C, with Gävle recording a temperature of 33.5C.

Temperatures are forecast to drop significantly on Friday, sinking below 20C across the country on Saturday, with thunder storms expected in many areas.