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Midsummer holiday chaos leaves thousands of travellers stranded

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Midsummer holiday chaos leaves thousands of travellers stranded
Stockholm Central Station on Thursday. Photo: Gustav Sjöholm/TT
16:27 CEST+02:00
Thousands of holidaymakers and commuters were caught up in travel chaos as a fire in Stockholm sparked train delays just a day before one of Sweden's biggest holidays.

The day before Midsummer's Eve, this coming Friday, is usually when people leave the city to head for their summer houses or back home to see their family for the hugely popular summer celebrations.

But a fire in a cable in a tunnel on Thursday saw rail traffic south of Stockholm's central station grind to a halt, sparking heavy delays and chaos for thousands. Trains between Malmö and Stockholm and Gothenburg and Stockholm were all affected, as were commuter trains in the capital region.

Rail operator SJ was forced to cancel around 35-40 regional trains.

Trains were still running to Gothenburg and Malmö, but were diverted via Västerås, and delayed.

Commuter trains were still running north of central Stockholm, but delays were to be expected. Replacement buses were in place between Stockholm and Älvsjö.

One of the two southbound tracks reopened by 5pm and traffic authorities estimated the other one would reopen by 6pm, but SJ warned that there would be knock-on delays which could last until Friday morning.

Police wrote that two people were injured in the fire which started before 11am in one of the tunnels of the new Citybanan railway track through Stockholm, which has not yet opened for traffic. 

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