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TRAVEL NEWS

Trains delayed and roads slippery in Sweden despite lower snowfall

Sweden's state-owned rail company SJ cancelled several train services on Tuesday as a result of the snowy weather, while forecasters warned that roads could still be slippery in many regions.

Trains delayed and roads slippery in Sweden despite lower snowfall
A snow plough and salt spreader clear the E18 motorway outside Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

SJ is cancelling several regional trains on Tuesday between Stockholm and Uppsala, Stockholm and Västerås, and Gävle and Linköping at the request of the Swedish Transport Administration, which wants to free up space on the tracks. 

At the same time, weather forecaster SMHI warned that, while snowfall would decrease over the day, there would still be a risk of slippery roads in many areas.

“It’s still continuing to snow, but the intensive snowfall we are now warning about will come to an end during the day, starting in the south of the country,” state meteorologist Angelica Lundberg told the TT newswire.  “Over the coming days there may be an increased risk of slipping and this is the case most of all close to the coast.” 

Bengt Olsson, press officer for the Swedish Transport Administration, told SVT that the disruptions seen on Sunday and Monday looked likely to ease off on Tuesday. 

“It’s a bit calmer so far. There’s another type of road surface to day. It’s starting to freeze up a but. There’s a lot of crust from the snow and patches of ice out on the road, so its the risk of skidding that we are trying to deal with today.”

The slippery roads have led to some busses being cancelled, with Dalatrafiken, the bus operator in Dalarna, cancelling several regional bus services. 

Buses parked at the Keolis bus depot in Värtahamnen cruise terminal in Stockholm.
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Stockholm’s transport operator SL suspended the Lindingöbanan Light-railway line on Tuesday morning, and has also reduced some commuter train services. In Söderort, Huddinge and Botkyrka all bus services have been cancelled. 

“The measures taken to prevent skidding aren’t working,” SL’s press spokesperson Andreas Strömberg told SVT. “At Juliaborg in Huddinge six of our buses got stuck, so the traffic controllers decided to cancel all further services so we can get in snow ploughs.

Snow was continuing to fall on Tuesday over much of central Sweden, and SMHI has issued the lowest “yellow” weather warning for Sörmland, Västmanland, Örebro, Dalarna, and the north of Värmland. 

In most places, there is now between 5cm-15cm of snow, with 20cm in some places. 

 

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TRAVEL NEWS

It’s icy out there: what you can expect on the drive home from Christmas

Sweden’s state forecaster SMHI is warning of slippery ice, or ishalka on Tuesday, on the roads in central Sweden, with several trucks careering off the road overnight.

It's icy out there: what you can expect on the drive home from Christmas

According to SMHI, several stretchesof road likely to see heavy traffic after Christmas are affected by the icy connections, with the E4 motorway between Södertälje and Jönköping, stretches between the coast of Bohuslän north of Gothenburg, and the E18 between Örebro and Stockholm all with several slippery patches. 

Dalarna meanwhile will see heavy snowfall, with about 15cm of new snow falling on Monday night. 

On Monday night, a truck came off Route 55 south of Strångsjö in Katrineholm municipality late, while another was forced to stop due to slippage. 

The accident has since prevented the road from being gritted, because the stopped lorry blocked the salt-spreading truck, and then the salt truck broke down.

“A new one is on the way but it is not here yet,” Priya Eklund, a spokesperson for the police told TT at 10am on Tuesday. 

Another vehicle has gone off the road on the same stretch, but it is still unclear what happened. Traffic is currently at a standstill and many are stuck in queues.

On Tuesday morning, two trucks then collided on the E20 at Kumla outside Örebro in the direction of Gothenburg. The road is expected to be closed until 1pm, according to the Swedish Transport Administration website.

A lorry driver has been arrested on suspicion of gross negligence in traffic, drunk driving and drug offences after driving into police and rescue vehicles at an accident scene on the E4 outside Jönköping on Monday evening, Sweden’s state broadcaster SR reported.

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