Saturday, January 9, 2021

Örnsköldsvik, Kälvattnet, Skorped, Mellansel

After a longer grey and warm period, I am planning to visit some places in January and February to experience the real winter. Later it will turn out that it was not necessary to go north, the winter this year will spread to the south of Sweden and even to the continent.
I'm on my way to the central station where I will take the afternoon train to Örnsköldsvik.
The platform for Arlanda Express trains is empty
X3, Alstom Coradia train at Stockholm Central

My train will be X55

The train has many empty seats
I'm expecting real winter in Örnsköldsvik
A longer stop at Sundsvall

Arriving at Örnsköldsvik
It's cold and there is a lot of snow, just as I expected
At this time, the night train 10067 from Umeå to Göteborg is arriving at Örnsköldsvik
Since the timetable change in December, Vy has taken over the night train services from Luleå and Narvik, so SJ is operating its own night train from Umeå.

The hotel Statt I'm staying at is from 1913 and it is the classic hotel concept in Sweden, usually, the one that has a restaurant
Now with the pandemic, all restaurants are closed at 20:00 in Sweden, so there is not much to do outside in the evening.
The harbor of Örnsköldsvik

The weather forecast update in the hotel elevator
In the morning I'm having breakfast with a snowy view
Inside the hotel
I will spend the day visiting some places located at the Stambanan genom övre Norrland (Main Line Through Upper Norrland), which is a 626 km long railway between Bräcke and Boden. 
The railway is only operated with freight trains, so in order to visit these places I'm renting a car
The first stop is at Kälvattnet
I'm expecting to see lots of trains here today, and I won't get disappointed
Here is RRS 42596 Göteborg-Umeå
There is a lot of sparks from catenaries when the train is passing by, but it does not seem to cause any damage to the pantograph nor catenary.
Rc4 1272 and 1190


Green Cargo 4300 Helsingborg-Skelleftehamn
Kälvattnet lake is frozen 
Rc4 1197 and 1313
The ice on the catenary is acting as an electrical insulator to prevent the pantograph contacting the wire, which interrupts the flow of current and creating a shower of sparks. 

Here they meet, train 4300 and 4325
Green Cargo 4325 has same route as 4300 but in opposite direction from Skelleftehamn to Helsingborg
Rc4 1171 and 1255
Skorped church
Skorped station, designed after Hällnäs station type

RRS 42502 Göteborg-Luleå

Rc4 1314

This weekend it's a lot of snow here in Västernorrland, but it's nothing compared to what will happen one week later, 35cm compared to 77cm. On the other hand, snow removal is very efficient up here in the north, almost all roads are cleaned both day and night
CargoNet 41902 Oslo-Narvik

The train is slowing down here in Skorped

185 709 from Railpool/CargoNet is a Traxx F140 AC2

The last time a passenger train stopped here was in 1975, now there are only freight trains stopping

Destination: Narvik

CargoNet train was waiting for this Green Cargo 9102 from Luleå to Borlänge

Inside the station house, there is now a restaurant

RRS 42204 Helsingborg-Luleå
Rc4 1173 and 1145

I'm not the only one taking photos here
Green Cargo 5904 Ånge-Piteå
Rd2 1132 and 1031

Green Cargo 4002 Oslo-Narvik
Rc4 1315 and 1138

I'm back at Kälvattnet
CargoNet 41919 Narvik-Oslo

185 712

Mellansel station

The mainline through Upper Norrland is not covering any of the larger coastal towns, instead, there are branch rail lines like here between Mellansel and Örnsköldsvik. After constructing the Botnia railway, the station of Mellansel is no longer operated by the night train. However, the platform is still in place

CargoNet 41905

185 700

I'm now visiting some places at the branch railway
Molinden station

The tracks are covered with snow, can't be many trains on this line

Mo church



Själevad church

View of Örnsköldsvik from Varvsberget

The old Örnsköldsvik station
People are bicycling also in the winter
This year 1046 rides
In 2020: 68264

The new station is located not far from the old but at a higher altitude for better access to the tunnels
Botniabanan railway is usually not operated by freight trains, but there are some paper industries located here, so the freight trains are operated for this purpose. Here is Green Cargo 19715 from Husum to Ånge
Botniabanan is using ERTMS signaling system, so it is necessary that the locomotives are equipped with that system. Rd2 locomotives do support it
The empty timber train was producing a lot of wind and snowstorm, not a good idea to be on a platform when this happens
Now, it's an unusually high freight train activity at the Örnköldsvik station
CFL Cargo 49490 Laxå-Husum is passing by here
Traxx3 is also supporting ERTMS

Museum Örnsköldsvik


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