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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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UPDATE: SAS pilots extend strike talks until midday on Monday

Pilot unions in Sweden, Denmark and Norway have agreed to extend talks with the SAS airline until midday on Monday, after a deadline on Saturday passed without a deal. SAS flights scheduled for this weekend will fly as normal.

UPDATE: SAS pilots extend strike talks until midday on Monday

The Swedish pilots’ union SPF and other unions have been negotiating for weeks, with the deadline for a strike extended from midnight on Friday, to 11am on Saturday morning, and now until midday on Monday.

“We need to sleep, no one has slept with us for a very long time,” SAS’s chief negotiator, Marianne Hernæs, told Sweden’s TT newswire.

“We’ll meet again tomorrow. Now I am going home and sleeping, I have not slept for many hours,” Keld Bækkelund Hansen, leader of the Danish trade union Dansk Metal, told Denmark’s Ritzau newswire. 

Hernæs said that the two sides were still “extremely far away from one another” when it came to their positions. 

On June 9, the pilot unions of Sweden, Norway, and Denmark submitted their notice to strike on June 29th, with the strike then postponed until July 1st, then again until July 2nd, and now until Monday the 4th. If negotiations do not succeed, 900 pilots could go on strike at midnight.

Flights from SAS subsidiaries, SAS Connect, SAS Link, Cityjet Xfly and Air Baltic were unlikely to be directly affected by the pilot strike.

The SAS management and SPF have been in intensive negotiations for several weeks on a new collective agreement.

The Swedish pilot union believes that SAS is circumventing the right to re-employment by using staff from two subsidiaries as temporary labourers. 

Some 560 pilots who were laid off during the pandemic have not been re-employed.

After negotiations continued all night last night, the situation remains unclear but is progressing, according to the chief negotiator.

“We regret this situation we are in but we actually try everything we can,” says Marianne Hernæs.

Harsh criticism

On Friday, Norwegian put heavy pressure on SAS when the Norwegian pilot union threatened to drive the company into bankruptcy.

The Swedish pilot union also sharply criticized SAS’s negotiating position on Friday.

“An employer who tries to organize away from employer responsibility and agreements entered into by starting a letterbox company has nothing to do with the Swedish labor market and lacks justification for existence”, Martin Lindgren, chairman of the SAS section at the Swedish Pilot Association, said in a written comment to TT.