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.
That’s a good sign for small population Sweden being technologically advanced enough to build its own locomotives back then. Shows high IQ (obviously) and work ethic
- Sincere thanks for saying so, but personally, I'm even more proud of what's going on in the field of IT technology these days in Stockholm.
It truly deserves more of international recognition.
Admittedly, this activity is a question of many foreign companies interacting with Nordic companies like Ericsson, Nokia and Telia.
But in any case, the things happening in Stockholm of today on this frontier probably will play a larger role in shaping future technology than anything presently being done in Silicon Valley.
Sorry for sounding like suffering from an inferiority complex, but IT companies like Google and YouTube don't actually contribute much, directly, to technological development. Ericsson does (and I'm not talking about Sony Ericsson phones here..).
Despite its insignificant population viewed in relation to Germany, Japan and the US, Sweden has made substantial contributions to a wide array of technological areas.
In one way, it is thanks to the wars being fought close to our borders in the 20th century that we developed all of these industries and inventions - and we also have profited from contributing to this destruction as well as from taking part in rebuilding neighboring nations after wards.
But it also is worth pointing out that our achievements in the field of engineering and production provided us with a safe path through the horrors of two recent World Wars.
Sweden sure did trade with the Nazis in WWII, but also contributed to the struggle of freedom. We did business with the Allies whenever possible and Swedish material (read military) aid to the Finns played a major role in the Winter War between Finland and Soviet - Stalin's worst military fiasco ever.
Again, apologies for perhaps sounding overly patriotic - hope that does not violate the rules of this forum:)
I was in Sweden last month for Nobel Week and I remember going from the Arlanda Airport to Stockholm seeing a lot of buildings with common technology names like Sun (now owned by Oracle) ! Really liked Stockholm and would like to return sometime but during the Summer season !
> But in any case, the things happening in Stockholm of today on this frontier probably will play a larger role in shaping future technology than anything presently being done in Silicon Valley.
Yes. It is very good news. Hopefully other countries in the region will be able to utilize it so Putin can no longer shut the gas off in the middle of winter. It is good that Poland and Germany are not hostage to Russia.
This is going on all over the United States in Texas, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and other states.
The city of Fort Worth which is right next to Dallas is sitting on top of a huge amount of natural gas.
I love my Saab!
Willie promised that rail wouldn't cost nothin! We'd even get free wifi!
ASEA and Brown Boveri (Swiss company) merged to become ABB which is one of the largest engineering, big generators, electrical, water works, you name it they make it company.
Sort of a more ethical Nordic-Swiss version of General Electric (GE) - GE the very slimy pro-Obama pro-Saudi pro-China scum company HQ’ed in Connecticut. GE really is a scum company.
You seem to be the kind of visitor we enjoy making feasts for.
Since half a century, American IBM has been one of the major employers in Stockholm. Today, every IT company around the World wishes to establish themselves here.
Stockholm offers hot blonds, 400 year old shipwrecks and expensive shopping. Thanks to its business life, it also is one of the capital cities around the Globe featuring the strongest regional economic growth of all her competitors.
Stockholm also is predicted to surpass Berlin and Rome in population size within 20 years.
No, I don't live in Stockholm, I live in Gothenburg. But why deny the fact that Stockholm, rapidly, is reshaping northern Europe like no other city is able of.
Don’t forget us at Groupe Schneider.............
Ah yes, panties with 50 knots in em I would say. But DAMN if they don’t work. Imagine that.
Sort of a more ethical Nordic-Swiss version of General Electric (GE) - GE the very slimy pro-Obama pro-Saudi pro-China scum company HQed in Connecticut. GE really is a scum company”
- Yes, but don't forget what GE has meant to millions.
The base of American companies is the spirit that once made America the greatest industrial power on Earth - and furthermore a power that guided humanity through one of its worst crises ever; the disaster of the 20th century.
Never count European spirit out, but also never count American spirit out.
Sadly many big businesses in America have become incredibly corrupt in being so close to Obama. They put their global operations over the country where they started. GE and others care more about profits from Saudi Arabia, China, etc to the detriment of America. GE was behind getting rid of incandescent bulbs in the US for those crappy mercury filled Chinese “green” bulbs.
GE is very close to Obama and the Saudi Royals. Many of the banks, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and others are friends of Obama.
Hopefully things in America will improve but many big American businesses today with Obama remind me of companies with mussolini in Italy or hitler in germany.
Never heard of them.... Interesting. Thanks
- Glad you can still feel optimism.
The people who rule big corporations often are attracted to such spheres of societal and international influence because they are in possession of unique skills and are offered the opportunity of making a great deal of money. They are not evil. Neither are corporations.
If consumers are dissatisfied with GE, they could buy bulbs made by a competing manufacturer.
What I mean to say is that the same industrial/mechanical smarts the Swedes had building locomotives 60 years ago translates into IT+other hi-tech smarts today you posted about. It’s just a younger generation doing it.
Sweden now has 9 million people. When you had 4-5 million people you were building locomotives and automobiles (Saab Volvo) which is more impressive than the USA doing it with our 120 million people in the year 1920
BTW a lot of our early American inventors grew up on farms. Farmers are always trying to eliminate back breaking labor so they always have an incentive to come with new and better mechanical ideas for planting, growing, harvesting, storing food and cotton. Plus the backbone of American farming is ethnic Germans
And now farmers have hi-tech help in the form of GPS and laser guided tractors and thermal imaging to tell when crops should be harvested
Sweden joined the EU but kept your own currency. SMART!
Osaram which is a German company that sells light bulbs under the Sylvania name in America. I try to avoid American companies friendly to Obama.
My phone service is from Deutsche Telekom because AT&T and Verizon are friendly with Obama.
Someone needs to explain to our friend in Sweden, Western Culture (WC), who Willie Green is. Willie appears to be gone but he used to post about light rail and high speed rail projects in the USA which were Obama projects. Useless projects where the train service would never make any money and they are design to funnel huge amounts of money to unions and Obama’s corrupt friends.
One example was the DEAD city of Detroit. Maybe Detroit could use some eteam power trains.
The whole farm belt in Texas, I think is German and Czechs. Sweden’s Saab fighters are very impressive.
The small super car start up Koneigsegg in Sweden started by using a Ford V8. Now it is cast the block in the UK but it is their own engine This is a small company making a road car that puts out 806 hp, gets an average of 14 mpg and 18 mpg highway and will do probably 240 mph though the company says it will do 250 mph. I think their were former Saab jet engineers.
Sweden makes some really cool stuff.
Farming in the center of the United States. From Texas up through Colorado, Nebraska up to Michigan and North Dakota. All dominated by German American farmers. They are our real agricultural producers. You can thank them for our exportable farm surplus that brings in billions from foreigners
Of course by now some of these guys are only half or part German extraction
Building railways spurred the development of America and brought lots of new populations further and further West. New railways for coal and steel making helped our economy. But these days it is different. Just about all the proposd light rail projects the Feds are funding will not produce more economic development. They will be non-profitable ghost trains. The only thing they will do is keep union construction guys employed building the rail lines. And where will the railcars be bought from? Bombardier in Quebec? That doesn’t produce American jobs
Willie was living in the past
- I get you. Sorry if it sounded like I failed to understand what you wrote. Never mind.
“Farmers are always trying to eliminate back breaking labor so they always have an incentive to come with new and better mechanical ideas for planting, growing, harvesting, storing food and cotton.”
- True, but why did Russian farmers still use wooden plows in the beginning of the 20th century? And why was there famine even around 1960 in some parts of the USSR - together with America a World leading nation in space technology and exploration?
Of course, “Communism” is the answer. But not an especially clarifying one.
At university, I briefly studied the fact that USA, at a rather early stage of its national development (around 1860-1880), in fact was far superior to Europe in terms of mechanized agriculture.
Historians all agree this was the case but, naturally, these scholars disagree on the reasons to this situation (like they “ought” to).
To me, it seems plausible that the following factors played major roles:
- The shortage of labor in the agricultural sector of the American economy.
- The immense access to vast areas of virgin fertile soil in the US of that time.
- The enormous demand for agricultural products in relation to the numbers of competitors on the market (both the domestic and export ones).
- The transfer of engineering and agricultural know how to a market characterized by steady growth and the incitements to investment and innovation these circumstances constituted.
- The fact that the domestic market of America after 1865, in sharp contrast to (especially) Germany and France, never was disturbed by warfare (in both direct and indirect manners).
To a large extent, America differed much from Western Europe as well as Russia of those days in these regards.
Yes but also these vast Midwest grassland areas were flat. Flat land is much better for mechanized agriculture such as this >>>
Farm workers with horse-drawn combine harvesting wheat, Almira, Washington, August 1911
Farms in hilly areas are always smaller than farms in flat areas. Europe had small farms that stayed in families for centuries while the Europeans who streamed into the US MidWest could claim large tracts of land after wresting it from the Indians.
Thanks a lot for educating me!
You made five valid points that I did not mean to ignore. It is just the simple obvious fact that our Great MidWest agricultural land is flat,this gets left out. In the photo you see a large team of horses pulling a labor saving combine. This “mechanized agriculture” only works on flat expanses.
Combines used to be very expensive. Less so today but in the past we had combine owners who would follow the grain harvest. The grains and soy would be harvested first in Southern states. Then combine teams moved north as the harvest progressed. These days that fancy equipment is more affordable for an individual farmer.
I did not mention our Scandinavian farmers. You already know that Minnesota, Wisconsin, the Dakotas have lots of them. These days (due to marriage) they might be part Norwegian, part Swede and part German. Even some Finns I think. I have the impression that Danish immigration was not high
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