Stockholm Odenplan reopens after escalator scare

Stockholm Odenplan reopens after escalator scare
Traffic authorities warned of rush-hour chaos on Monday. Photo: Hossein Salmanzadeh/TT
Stockholm Odenplan reopened to commuter trains on Monday morning after faulty escalators forced the station to shut. Stockholm City however remains closed until further notice.

Two of the Swedish capital's busiest stations closed on Friday after an escalator lost control a few days earlier and started running at speed in the wrong direction and sent people tumbling.

Nobody was seriously injured, but when public transport operator SL investigated what had happened, significant rust and wear and tear was discovered inside the escalator's gearbox.

The escalator is only be around a year old, so SL then decided at an emergency overnight meeting to shut down both stations with immediate effect for safety reasons, and examine the rest of the escalators.

READ ALSO: Stockholm commuter train stations shut for safety reasons

Odenplan opened at 4.10am on Monday with 16 out of 21 escalators in use. Three of them were found to be rusty and will not be restarted until the problem has been fixed – it is not known when that will be.

Stockholm City, which connects to both Stockholm's Central Station and the city's busiest underground station T-centralen, remained closed on Monday morning. SL said late on Sunday that it had examined 16 of its 50 escalators so far and found rust on all of them.

SL, external analysts from Dekra, Stockholm City Council's traffic administration and the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) are now working to resolve the issue together with Otis, the world's largest elevator and escalator manufacturer and the contractor that supplied the escalators.

Stockholm City and Stockholm Odenplan are part of the city's new commuter train line 'Citybanan' and opened only a year ago to much pomp and circumstance. Stockholm mayor Karin Wanngård and Prime Minister Stefan Löfven were among the top names who attended the official opening.

The closure does not affect other transport via the Central Station (which is however already closed to long-distance trains north-bound due to scheduled repairs), or the metro station T-Centralen.

The commuter trains are still running between other stations, but are currently passing City without stopping. The closest alternative stops are Stockholm Södra (south of City) and now Odenplan.

If you need to travel onwards from Stockholm Södra, walk to metro station Mariatorget (red line) and travel by metro to T-Centralen or your preferred stop. Avoid the green metro line through Stockholm, because it is temporarily closed between T-Centralen and Slussen due to scheduled works starting on Monday.

If you are travelling by commuter train from the north, replacement buses will transport passengers from Solna commuter train station to the metro, where you can take the blue line to central Stockholm.

There are plenty more major renovations causing traffic rescheduling in the Swedish capital this summer, so The Local has put together this handy guide to make you aware of what to expect:

STOCKHOLM TRANSPORT DISRUPTION: How you'll be affected this summer

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