Saturday, May 13, 2017

Blå tåget

Today I'm travelling with "Blå tåget" - something I've wanted to do for a long time, but did not had a chance to do due to inconvenient timetable. "Blå tåget" is based in Göteborg, so the departure time from Stockholm is in the afternoon, meaning that it is difficult to come back same day.
But today everything is perfect, at least during the start of the day. I'm planning to take "Blå tåget" at 12:59 from Stockholm and return home with a night train.
Taking photos of some trains while waiting for mine.
SJ Regional
Why not have departure time at 13:00?
Here it is
"Blå tåget" operated by Skandinaviska Jernbanor started this service 11 December 2011. The company had problems with its licence last year, and there was a risk of bankruptcy. But since 11 December 2016 it has resumed its services. Today, there are 3 private companies running long distance trains with old coaches: Snälltåget operating service to Malmö, Blå/gröna tåget to Göteborg and Tågab to Karlstad and from Falun to Göteborg. MTR Express is also a private company, but they are using much newer trains.
Coaches today are B36F, B1, B1, B5K, R7, WRmz, A2K
B1 is a classic 2nd class coach with open seating
B1 is used by Blå tåget, Snälltåget and Tågab
B5K has both open seating and compartments
R7 is an old Norwegian restaurant coach, used by Blå tåget and Snälltåget. Blå tåget version has been rebuilt to have a piano bar.

WRmh is an old German dining coach, bought by SJ and sold later to Inlandsbanan. The coach has a kitchen and 42 table seats
A real restaurant kitchen on the rail is a rare view today, in fact Blå tåget is the only company offering this service in Sweden.

Finally A2K - a 1st class coach with 2 compartments and open seating.

This will be my coach for this trip, and since I will alone in the whole coach, I can say that it is "my" coach.
No, I'm not that rich to buy all seats. I suppose that Saturday afternoon is not the most popular time for travelling, and since 2nd class tickets are cheaper, it is not uncommon to find empty seats in 1st class.
The coach is really comfortable

1st class coach has mineral water and fruits
"Tåg" magazine is available here
Leaving Stockholm
One of the reasons I love old coaches, is the possibility to open windows

Bridge over Årsta bay

Årstaberg, is normally a station from where I take photos of passing trains. This time I'm taking photo of the station from a passing train.
It's time for lunch
My table
It's a 3 course lunch, for starter it is sea food soup. Here is the whole menu.

Handy tool for watching TV from a smartphone

Main course is Wallenbergare. From Wikipedia: Wallenbergare is a Swedish dish generally consisting of ground veal, cream, egg yolks and coated in breadcrumbs. It is traditionally served with mashed potatoes and peas. It was created and named for häradshövding (sv) (Circuit Judge) Marcus Wallenberg.
It takes time to prepare and serve the food. I'm in Hallsberg and I still haven't got the dessert.
Finally it arrives, Crème Brûlée.
So, how much does it cost. A 3 course meal is 395SEK. I also ordered a drink package with a glass of white, red and dessert wines for 325SEK. For Sweden it is a standard restaurant price, for a train it may be a bit expensive, but this is not just a train on the other hand...
Piano bar. Today there was live guitar music
Piano bar is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays

Meanwhile the train has already entered Västra Götaland region


Tidan river

Looks like a hidden vehicle
A fox
At Väring, our train is switching to a passing loop track
Due to a railway works, only 1 track is opened between Moholm and Falköping, hence there is a need to let the meeting trains pass.

First an X74
Followed by X40
After around 20min long stop, we are continuing

A stop in Skövde


Sjogerstads kyrka


Approaching Herrljunga
Railway association in Herrljunga "Järnvägsmusei Vänners verksamhet i Herrljunga lokstall"

X74 is overtaking our train here

Sävelången lake

Nearby airport Landvetter

X2 overtaking
Lerum church

Aspen lake


Traxx locomotive 185 693-9 from Railpool, now hired to CFL cargo Sweden
Arriving to Göteborg

4h 36min later I'm in Stockholm

My train back is this night train to Luleå, consisting of following coaches: BC4, BC4, B2, R12, BF4, WL6, WL6, WL4, WL4, WL4, WL6 - in total 11 coaches.
BC4 is a couchette coach from the 80's with 6 beds in each compartment.
B2 open seating coach from the 80's. B2 is only used by SSRT (aka Norrlandståget). SJ has same type of coach rebuilt in 2001-2003 to B10.
R12 dining coach from the 60's, modernised in 2015.
BF4 is an open seat coach with a freight compartment
WL6 is a sleeping coach from the 90's with 3 beds in each compartment and a shared shower/toilet for all coach.

WL4 is a 1st class sleeping coach with 2 beds and shower/toilet in each compartment

Inside B2
Inside a 1st class compartment

Less luxurious dining car than Blå tåget, but still very fresh and spacey.
No kitchen here, only microwave food.
My dinner is more simple than the lunch

Passing over Igelsta bridge near Södertälje

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