Skip to comments.Sweden deploys vintage trains to battle the snow
Posted on 01/02/2011 10:36:49 AM PST by WesternCulture
The Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) has turned to antique rolling stock to boost resources battling the snow and to clear a stretch of track in southern Sweden, according to a report by Sveriges Television (SVT).
The trains, old DA locomotives normally resident in the Swedish Railway Museum in Gävle in northern Sweden, have been dusted off and put back into service to clear the tracks of snow between Mjölby and Alvesta in southern Sweden.
Furthermore a 100-year-old snowplough is in place alongside the tracks in nearby Nässjö, ready to be called into action if needed.
"These are made of stern stuff which can take the winter and we are very happy to be able to help to keep the railways running," said Henrik Reuterdahl at the museum.
The two locomotives were constructed in the middle of the 1950s and are currently equipped with a heavy duty snowplough in order to perform their task.
The harsh winter will mean that costs for the maintenance of roads and railways will soar.
According to the Transport Administration's preliminary estimates, costs for snow removal from roads will increase by approximately 100 million kronor ($14.63 million) compared to previous winters. The figure covers the whole of 2010 and thus part of last winter.
The administration also notes that the budget overrun has been the most extreme in southern areas of the country.
"It has been a busy Christmas period," said Thomas Anderson at the administration.
The record winter has created a slew of problems for the maintenance of roads and railways with low temperatures combined with heavy snowfalls.
"We have not been able to battle the snow with salt as it has been colder than minus eight degrees Celsius in most parts of the country," said Pär Gustafsson at the administration.
The administration's budget extends over the entire 2010 and thus means that a large proportion of the costs of both this and last winter are in the same budget.
The situation could lead to some savings in maintenance in the summer months with cut backs on clearing verges and holding off on relaying roads as a result.
"But we will not pinch on the winter - it will cost what it costs," Pär Gustafsson said.
Dag Rosander at national rail operator SJ was unwilling to speculate as to how much extra cost the winter has incurred.
"We may be able to see a little further on, on the other side of the new year, how it looks."
He pointed out that SJ had strengthened its travel time warranty which may mean that winter will be somewhat more expensive for the company, although he was hopeful that it may attract more passengers to the railways.
SJ has also improved its rolling stock and set up a special department to take care of passengers hit by delays and cancellations.
We need Boxcar Willie Green back!
But for some reason, it's not the trains carrying tons of extremely heavy iron ore 24/7 in one of the most challenging climates on Earth between the mines of Kiruna, Sweden and the harbor of Norwegian Narvik that recently has been under pressure. These deliveries always work well and have done so for 107 years now.
Instead, it is the high speed passenger trains between Stockholm-Gothenburg, Stockholm-Malmö and many other ones in the southern parts of Sweden (where the climate is considerably milder) that, for two winters in a row, have appeared as severely unreliable means of transportation.
Perhaps rail engineers of today (and engineers in general) have something to learn from how work was done half a century ago..
Some basic info concerning the ASEA Da locomotive (ASEA later merged with Swiss Brown, Boveri & Cie forming one of the World's largest companies in the area of power and automation technology):
21 years ago, the ABB high speed train of the X-2000 was introduced. Among other interesting features, ABB presented a high speed train that ‘tilted’ its way through curves at speeds much higher than those of competing constructions. Yet, by today, many people here in Sweden feel this train is obsolete:
The legendary Swedish/Norwegian Iron Ore Line; for over 100 years one of the heaviest trains struggling with one of the toughest climates on Earth:
These perpetual shipments of iron ore once ended up in the hands of the Nazi-German arms industry. Luckily enough, the Allies finally convinced the Swedish government they had to go elsewhere (today, this magnificently pure iron ore sooner is found in Scandinavian made cars, trucks, planes, ships, submarines etc than in the weapons of Fascist nations):
This happened in the UK, I think last year. They used old steam power trains to push modern trains, clear the trains etc. Those old trains work. Any pictures?
“It has been a busy Christmas period,” said Thomas Anderson at the administration.
Oh my God. A govt official actually using the word Christmas. He would be fired and sued in Obama-America-Zimbabweville.
Good for Sweden.
... pictures taken near Fraser, B.C. of the White Pass & Yukon Route train clearing snow from the track on April 7 & 8, 2001
BBC: Steam train’s snow rescue ‘glory’
Passengers were rescued by a steam locomotive after modern rail services were brought to a halt by the snowy conditions in south-east England.
Trains between Ashford and Dover were suspended on Monday when cold weather disabled the electric rail.
Some commuters at London Victoria faced lengthy delays until Tornado - Britain’s first mainline steam engine in 50 years - offered them a lift.
- Yes, this is how a lot of ignorant Europeans and Americans actually view things.
But, to begin with, Europe still rely heavily on coal, gas and oil.
Not only underdeveloped pockets of Eastern Europe, but also large parts of Germany and Scandinavia (which undeniably belong to the most technologically advanced nations on Earth) do so.
My Sweden has more nuclear reactors per capita than any other nation (as far as I know) and on top of that disposes of a vast number of hydroelectric dams, still a large part of our electricity consumption is from foreign coal plants.
If we really fear “global warming” that much, perhaps it's time to forget upon Kyoto protocols and start investing in nuclear power instead.
Story link here:
Found a nice 1963 film clip here:
As an aside, I recently enjoyed the 2007 film "O'Horten" about the adventures of a newly-retired Norwegian railroad engineer who worked the Bergen-Oslo commuter line.
Woo Hoo. So awesome to see those steam trains to the rescue in the snow.
Woo hoo. Big CO 2 footprint. LOL!
Look at that snow. Amazing. I bet there was good skiing up in Bannf and Lake Louise on that day.
Thanks a lot for those links!
Were some of those old locomotives made in Sweden? My guess is German
The good news is that due to horizontal drilling developed by George Mitchell in Texas, America has become the #1 global producer of natural gas again.
This technology is freely available. Other countries are using the technology including Poland and Germany. It is estimated that Poland will have at least 200 years of nat gas and Germany 100 years. I am not sure about other countries in Europe. The good news is this has developed rapidly in the past 5 years and countries and business can ramp up quickly to develop the nat gas.
The biggest losers: Russia, Iran, Saudis and Qatar.
“Were some of those old locomotives made in Sweden? My guess is German”
- The Da locomotive mentioned in the article was made by the Swedish company of ASEA at a plant in Västerås (a city east of Stockholm).
I’ve never heard of any electrical locomotives being imported to Sweden from elsewhere. Swedish railroad companies bought some foreign steam ones long time ago though.
Please correct me if I’m wrong.
“Västerås (a city east of Stockholm).”
WEST of Sthlm.
“This technology is freely available. Other countries are using the technology including Poland and Germany. It is estimated that Poland will have at least 200 years of nat gas and Germany 100 years.”
- Indeed good news from my perspective as I trust these nations more in every way than I trust Russia and the Arabian ones.
Thanks for telling me.