Train stuck in tunnel after downpour

Amtrain with 180 passengers got stuck in a tunnel outside Söderhamn, east central Sweden, after a torrential rainstorm with those stuck inside describing the situation as the 'worst action film.'

The train was travelling from Stockholm to Sundsvall when it got stuck in the tunnel at approximately 13:30 on Sunday.

“It was a heavy downpour and the water ran into the tunnel and dragged a lot of rubbish and debris with it. The train was unable to continue and now rescue services are in place to clear the debris so the train can continue,” Mårten Dunér of national rail operator SJ’s press office told the TT news agency.

Passengers have been told to remain onboard the train as the tunnel is long and emergency services have said it would be hard to evacuate.

“They would have to go very far, about 1,500 metres. It’s uncomfortable as it is wet and dark with lots of debris in the tunnel.

“But the atmosphere on the train is good according to the staff as they have heat and light,” added Dunér.

However, one passenger told the Expressen newspaper that “it was like the worst action film.”

The Norrala tunnel is one of the longest in Sweden at approximately four kilometres long.

TT/The Local/pr

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Railway operator SJ to double train capacity over five years

After an increasing number of people in Sweden travelled by train in 2019's third quarter, railway operator SJ is now investing to double its capacity.

Railway operator SJ to double train capacity over five years
Railway operator SJ will invest in 30 long-distance trains and 50 regional trains. Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix / TT

In the third quarter, SJ's profit before tax was 198 million kronor, up from only 93 million kronor in the same period last year. 

The company said the main reason for the rise in profit and sales was that more people were choosing train travel over other methods of transport, and that investments had been made to make train travel more competitive. 

“We have seen this trend for many years. During the third quarter we have increased our offer and seen a significant increase in journeys,” said CEO Crister Fritzson.

Between January and September, journeys with SJ trains increased by 11 percent. This news comes a day after figures from airport operator Swedavia revealed an eight percent decrease in domestic flights. The focus on the climate crisis is a likely contributing factor, Fritzson said.

Punctuality for long-distance trains, measured by the proportion of trains which were five minutes delayed or less, also improved in the third quarter to 82 percent, up from 75 percent. For medium distance trains, punctuality was 93 percent, an improvement on the previous figure of 88 percent.

And now, a total of 12 billion kronor will be invested in new regional and long-distance trains as well as upgrading existing X 2000-trains to increase their capacity by 15 percent. These upgraded trains will be brought out next year, while SJ will also invest in 30 new long-distance trains able to travel at 250 kmph and around 50 new regional trains.

All in all, this will amount to a 50 percent increase in capacity over the next five years.


profit – (en) vinst

investment – (en) investering

competitive (in a financial sense) – konkurrenskraftig

punctuality – (en) punktlighet

improvement – (en) förbättring

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