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Sweden hit by more train cancellations after cold snap

The Local Sweden
The Local Sweden - [email protected]
Sweden hit by more train cancellations after cold snap
Several trains are cancelled in Stockholm, Malmö, Gothenburg and Umeå on Monday. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Sweden’s record-breaking cold snap last week is continuing to cause headaches for travellers.

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Railway company SJ, which serves most long-distance routes in Sweden, cancelled departures on Monday due to the weather, including trains from Malmö, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Umeå.

“The ice builds up, so before we can mend and maintain trains they have to be de-iced, which can take hours,” SJ communications officer Jonas Olsson told Swedish news agency TT on Monday.

“It’s the same situation as in the past few weeks. The trains that are cancelled today have been cancelled with advance notice, so there aren’t any travellers who have been left stranded.”

There is a risk of further cancellations as long as the big freeze keeps its grip on Sweden.

“But it looks like it’s getting milder now, so we hope that will be positive for trains,” said Olsson.

LIFE IN SWEDEN'S BIG FREEZE:

In general, travel in Sweden is looking better this week. No major disruptions were reported in southern Sweden, where several buses and trains were cancelled due to last week’s blizzard.

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Sleeper trains between Luleå and Kiruna, which are operated by Vy, have resumed traffic after they had to be cancelled when the mercury dropped below -40C in northern Sweden last week.

Some trains were however damaged by the cold and will have to be repaired, so passengers should still make sure they keep up to date with any knock-on delays and cancellations.

Sweden last week experienced some of the coldest temperatures it has ever recorded, and over the weekend it had two consecutive isdygn – a period of 24 hours, or in this case 48 hours, when temperatures do not edge above freezing anywhere in the country, from north to south.

The last time Sweden had an isdygn was in 2021, when four in a row were recorded during the winter. But that won’t happen this time, as temperatures are already beginning to rise.

According to national weather agency SMHI, the weather is set to get milder mid-week, and then colder again by the weekend, although not as cold as last week. Southern Sweden can expect temperatures of around freezing and -5C, and northern Sweden some 10-15C below zero.

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