Tuesday, August 2, 2016


I'm back in Sweden, and I have decided during one week travel along the norther railways. I'm travelling by car so I have a chance to visit places where trains does not stop. In this post I'm travelling along East Coast railway (Ostkustbanan).
 First stop is a bizarre place considering that we are in Sweden.
 Dragon Gate is a business and cultural centre built nearby Gävle. It can be seen from the railway.
 Completed in 2008, it was supposed to have a hotel, but it has still not been opened. Today there is a Chinese restaurant inside.
 Ostkustbanan is a 402km railway from Stockholm to Sundsvall along the coast. According to the project "Nya Ostkustbanan" it is one of the most congested railways in Sweden, so efforts are being made to make politicians finance an upgrade of this railway to a double track.
 There are not many stops along the railway, most of them have been removed. Here is a former station Axmarby. Old map of the railway is available here.
 The railway has a single track except for some meeting points, like the one here in Axmarby.
 X55 train (SJ3000) is operating along this line service Stockholm-Sundsvall (and some all the way to Umeå).
 X52 train operated by X-tåget is waiting for green light. X-tåget is operating line Gävle-Sundsvall here.
 I'm lucky to see another X-tåg

 Green Cargo Td diesel locomotive from 1986. Td has been rebuilt from T4 as a modernisation project.

 First stop after Gävle is Ljusne. Between Ljusne and Enånger the railway has been rebuilt in a new strech, with one of the longest tunnels in Sweden - Norralatunneln 3,9km, opened 1999.
 The stop in Ljusne is operated by X-tåg only.

 The old railway in Ljusne is not in use anymore.
 Old Ljusne station was placed here before
 New railway part is passing through Söderhamn. New station was opened 1997 and it is located outside the central part of the town.

 Söderhamn is operated by all trains, including long distance and night trains.
 Right after Söderhamn, there is another railway to Kilafors, which has not been in use by passenger trains since 1971. In order to make space for more passenger trains between Gävle and Söderhamn on Ostkustbanan, the railway to Kilafors is currently being modernised and it will re-open 2018.
 In central Söderhamn, there are traces from the old station.
 The station was constructed 1885–86 and created by Adolf W. Edelsvärd.

 Observation tower Oscarsborg

 Newer part of the railway nearby E4 highway. The new part is allowing speed of 200km/h
 Folkets hus (People's house) in Njutånger
 Here the railway is in its old shape and with a single track

 I'm climbing up to the 66m tall "Slagghögen" in Iggesund.
 The sea can be viewed from this hill
 Iggesund has always been famous for its industry. Here is a Iggesund Paperboard - Europe's third largest manufacturer of high quality virgin fibre paperboard

 Railway viewed from the hill
 Transport to the paper factory
 Grillska gården in Iggesund
 Iggesund has a station for X-tåg

 Next stop is Hudiksvall
 X55 train is arriving from Stockholm
 X55 is manufactured by Bombardier in 2012. It is non-tilting and it is used by SJ mainly on this railway and some occasional services in southern Sweden.
 Hudiksvall is one of the major towns along this railway and the largest one in Hälsingland region
 Hudiksvall station
X55 is equipped with ETCS for operations on Botniabanan, which is the first and only railway with ERTMS Level 2 in Sweden for passenger trains. There is a plan to transform all railways in Sweden to this signalling system.
X55 is leaving Hudiskvall for further journey to Sundsvall

Hudiksvall station
Visiting Skarvtjärn station near Harmånger
Here there was a branch narrow gauge railway to Bergsjö - NHJ (Norra Hälsinglands Järnväg), but it was shutdown 1962.
X55 to Stockholm
X52 to Sundsvall
Gnarp station
Operated only by X-tåg
Small station

I'm now in Älandsbro, north of Härnösand. When it was decided to build Botniabanan, some parts of the nearby Ådalsbanan were modernised and equipped with ERTMS Level 2. 30km of the 130km of Ådalsbanan were built as a new railway.
The part between Härnösand and Veda got a completely new section, so the old railway was dismantled, like here in Älandsbro. Old station is still there.
I'm now nearby Veda, where the new railway is ending. Here i find an old rarity - Scania Vabis B5658 from 1964.
As well another view is a famous boat "Ocean Gala" which was supposed to be a floating asylum hotel this summer, but it did not happen due to decreased amount of refugees and uncertain status of having a hotel in this harbour.
Anyway, the reason why I stopped in Utansjö is to check the newly built part of Ådalsbanan. The new part is 21km and has 4 tunnels. Here is one of them.
From Sundsvall to Umeå, a commuter service Norrtåg is operating X62 trains.
X62 is an Alstom Coradia Nordic train from 2012. It is a further development of X61 trains (used in Stockholm as pendeltåg), but X62 has a different top speed (180km/h vs 160km/h) and it has a more suitable design for long distance travelling with e.g. a bistro.

My last stop for today is a nearby Höga Kusten bridge. It is the third longest suspension bridge in Scandinavia.
The bridge opened in 1997

1 comment: