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TRAVEL NEWS

When will trains between Stockholm and Uppsala be back to normal?

Trains between Uppsala and Stockholm are currently running at reduced capacity due to a signal fault, which may take days – or even weeks – to fix.

When will trains between Stockholm and Uppsala be back to normal?
Trains running between Uppsala and Stockholm are cancelled. It is unclear when they will be running again. Photo: Johan Jeppsson/TT

What has happened?

A fire in a signal box between Arlanda and Knivsta on Tuesday evening caused a signal failure affecting trains between Stockholm and Uppsala, according to the Swedish Transport Administration’s website.

Both regional trains and commuter trains are affected. All departures on the Stockholm-Uppsala line were still cancelled at the time of publication on Wednesday morning.

The following stations may be affected: Uppsala C, Knivsta, Märsta, Stockholm Central, Sundsvall Central, Hudiksvall, Söderhamn, Gävle Central, Arlanda Central, Örebro Söder, Örebro Central, Arboga, Kungsör, Eskilstuna Central, Strängnäs, Läggesta, Nykvarn, Södertälje Syd, Flemingsberg, Falun Central, Borlänge Central, Säter, Hedemora, Avesta Centrum, Avesta Krylbo, Sala and Heby.

When will the problem be fixed?

As of 11am on Wednesday morning, a very limited number of trains are now running on the affected service –  two commuter trains and one long-distance train in each direction, every hour.

However, trains are not stopping on the affected line between Upplands Väsby and Stockholm, and all trains are passing via Arlanda, with none travelling via Märsta.

“It’s a lot less than usual, but that’s what we can handle right now,” said Katarina Wolffram, press spokesperson at the Swedish Transport Agency to newswire TT.

The Swedish Transport Administration’s press service told TT that it could take weeks until train services are back to normal, due to the time it will take to repair wiring in the affected signal box.

According to the press service, the Swedish Transport Agency are working to ascertain whether a technological solution can be used which would allow trains to run while repairs are being carried out, TT reports.

“We hope we’ll be able to find a technical solution so that trains can pass through, especially the long-distance trains which are difficult to replace with bus services,” Wolffram told TT.

Anders Hedgren from Swedish railway company SJ was more optimistic, telling TT that it may be fixed in days rather than weeks.

“We haven’t received a prognosis yet, but I think we’re talking about days,” he told the newswire.

How can I get to my destination if my journey is affected?

The Swedish Transport Administration advises travellers to contact their train company for specific information about their journeys.

Travellers holding tickets from SJ, SL or Mälartåg train companies will be able to use their tickets on any of these services.

The same is true for affected travellers on SJ, UL and X-trafik services, who can use their tickets on any of these services.

Rail replacement buses will be running on affected lines.

Trains departing from further north will be running but may be diverted, leading to delays.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

The mandatory EU-wide mask requirement for air travel is set to be dropped from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still require passengers to wear masks on some or all flights

Covid face mask rule on flights in Europe set to be eased

Europe-wide facemask rules on flights are set to be ditched as early as next week in light of new recommendations from health and air safety experts.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) dropped recommendations for mandatory mask-wearing in airports and during flights in updated Covid-19 safety measures for travel issued on Wednesday, May 11th.

The new rules are expected to be rolled out from Monday, May 16th, but airlines may still continue to require the wearing of masks on some or all of flights. And the updated health safety measures still say that wearing a face mask remains one of the best ways to protect against the transmission of the virus.

The joint EASA/ECDC statement reminded travellers that masks may still be required on flights to destinations in certain countries that still require the wearing of masks on public transport and in transport hubs.

It also recommends that vulnerable passengers should continue to wear a face mask regardless of the rules, ideally an FFP2/N95/KN95 type mask which offers a higher level of protection than a standard surgical mask.

“From next week, face masks will no longer need to be mandatory in air travel in all cases, broadly aligning with the changing requirements of national authorities across Europe for public transport,” EASA executive director Patrick Ky said in the statement. 

“For passengers and air crews, this is a big step forward in the normalisation of air travel. Passengers should however behave responsibly and respect the choices of others around them. And a passenger who is coughing and sneezing should strongly consider wearing a face mask, for the reassurance of those seated nearby.”  

ECDC director Andrea Ammon added: “The development and continuous updates to the Aviation Health Safety Protocol in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have given travellers and aviation personnel better knowledge of the risks of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. 

“While risks do remain, we have seen that non-pharmaceutical interventions and vaccines have allowed our lives to begin to return to normal. 

“While mandatory mask-wearing in all situations is no longer recommended, it is important to be mindful that together with physical distancing and good hand hygiene it is one of the best methods of reducing transmission. 

“The rules and requirements of departure and destination states should be respected and applied consistently, and travel operators should take care to inform passengers of any required measures in a timely manner.”

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