Swedish train takes wrong track and ends up in the wrong town, yet no one seems to know why

Swedish train takes wrong track and ends up in the wrong town, yet no one seems to know why
File phot of a Swedish railway track. Photo: Junge Heiko/TT
Complaints about trains being delayed may be a cliché in Sweden, but complaints about trains ending up in the wrong place are not. Yet that's exactly what happened on Sunday – and there are disagreements over why.

An SJ train carrying 130 passengers from Stockholm Central was supposed to head south along the coast to Nyköping followed by Norrköping further along the same line. Instead however it inexplicably turned west after reaching Södertälje just outside Stockholm, ending up in Gnesta, 45km away from its correct destination.

Where the train was supposed to go. Photo: Google Maps

Where the train ended up… Photo: Google Maps

And there is disagreement over exactly why it happened. State railway owner Trafikverket has suggested a hapless driver could be to blame, but operator SJ countered that drivers do not control the paths the trains take, and that is instead controlled by Trafikverket's computers.

“For some reason he drove in the wrong direction. When he tried to go back from Gnesta he drove against a red signal,” Sofie Hammarberg from Trafikverket told news agency TT.

“A train driver can't drive the wrong way, it's the railway signalling that was wrong. That can be because of human error, or because of an error in the traffic management's data system,” responded SJ's press officer Niklas Härenstam.

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After arriving in Gnesta the passengers were given help getting back to Södertälje to get on a new train. Their journey was ultimately delayed by around three hours.