Thursday, August 4, 2016


It's a new morning, and I'm continuing my journey north along the Ådalsbanan and Botniabanan. 
 High Coast bridge and Ådalsbanan
 Ådalsbanan was built between 1880-1925 but the passenger trains were suspended between Härnösand and Långsele in 2001. Until the opening of Botniabanan and modernisation of Ådalsbanan in 2012 there were no trains operating here.
 When Botniabanan was decided to be built in 1996, it was decided to upgrade the Ådalsbanan since both would be dependent on each other. The price for new Botniabanan was 15 billion SEK, the price for modernisation of Ådalsbanan was 6,6 billion SEK. The result can be viewed here.
 Ådalsbanan was equipped with ERTMS Level 2 together with Botniabanan. Here is a meeting point at Sprängsviken, long time ago there was a station here.
 Between Beda and Bollstabruk the railway was kept in its original location.
 I'm now in Frånö. Nearby village Lunde is famous for the tragic "Ådalen shootings" in 1931 - a worker protest where people were killed by troops reinforced by police.

 The first stop since Härnösand is Kramfors where new train station was built in 2012.
 The station is located in the central part of town

 Dynäs and nearby paper factory Mondi Packaging Dynäs AB
 Green Cargo Rd locomotive. 16 of 79 of these locomotives have been equipped with ETCS, this is one of them and thus can operate here.
 Between Bollstabruk and Västeraspby the railway was built in a new direction. The new railway 8km with two tunnels, Hallbergstunnel 787m and Snarabergstunnel 2411m. But today I'm taking the old route to visit the old station in Nyland.
 The station is left but the railway is gone.
 It happened in 2012, so the station sign is still here.

 Västeraspby is where the old and new Ådalsbanan is meeting Botniabanan.
The station here was built due to a nearby airport and it is now considered to be a ghost station, since really few trains stops here. The airport has only 2 flights per day operated by Nextjet.
 Train station was co-financed by EU.
The nearest village - Nyland is 5km away, the airport is 1,5km away so it is a bit uncertain who is really using this station.
 Västeraspby is basically the starting point of newest railway in Sweden - Botniabanan. There has been plans to built a railway connecting all coast towns in the north, but due to military strategics and costs it did not happen until recently. Ostkustbanan was built 1925 and Botniabanan in 2012, there is still one part missing (Umeå-Luleå) but there are plans to construct Norrbotniabanan in the future.

 The nearby Snarabergstunnel
 The way north
 There are totally 144 bridges in Botniabanan, here is one of them - bridge over Ångermanälven 1035m.
 Ångermanälven is one of Sweden's longest rivers - 460km.
 Styrnäs kyrka from 1852
 The new Botniabanan has a very high standard, with very few curves. Maximum speed allowed on the railway is 250km/h.
 The rest of Ådalsbanan between Västeraspby and Långsele is not upgraded. No passengers trains are operated here.

 One of the old stations along the Ådalsbanan - Prästmon.

 Botniabanan has 16 tunnels (totally 25km), here is Åskottunnel 3270m
 Botniabanan has been criticised for its high cost and low usage. Between Kramfors and Örnsköldsvik there are no stops or villages along its way, but the same route can now be reached with travel time of only 30min by train compared with 1h10min by car. The route Örnsköldsvik to Umeå has even better numbers, 46min by train or 2h20min by car.
 Here is one of the double track meeting point for trains in Drömme.

 The stretch between Örnsköldsvik and Umeå is 112km and it is the last part of Botniabanan.
 Here is Kalldalstunnel 1100m
 Between Örnsköldsvik and Umeå, there are 3 smaller stops operated by Norrtåg.

 In Saluböle the railway is very close to the sea.

 The trains operating the railway are the new X62, X55 and upgraded version of Rc6 (hauling the night trains to Luleå and Narvik).
 Very few cargo trains are operating this railway. However the new Botniabanan was meant to get a duplicating effect on an older and located inside the country Norra Stambanan, which on this route is left entirely for cargo trains.
 Since most of the cargo locomotives are not equipped with ETCS - it has become another reason for not using the new railway.
 Bridge over Saluån river - 343m
 Nearby Sörmjöle I can spot an X62 Norrtåg heading to Umeå.
 Norrtåg company was created in time for opening of the new railway and it is owned together by 4 northern regions in Sweden. In 5 years the company have proudly presented its train services as a success - the morning and afternoon services in peak hours are full booked! 1,2million trips have been made per year.
 Now Norrtåg is planing to expand with more services - all the way to Haparanda and Finland!
In Bergsboda near Umeå the new Botniabanan is attaching to railway Vännäs-Holmsund which is a 47km branch railway from Norra Stambanan to the harbour of Umeå.

Umeälvsbron (1938m) is the second longest railway bridge in Sweden after Igelstabron in Södertälje.

Nearby Umeå airport
X62 arriving to Umeå
Umeälvbron with Botniabanan railway and line to Holmsund (to the left).

Holmsund is located 18 km south of Umeå and serves as a port for Umeå.
Holmsund train station, the last passenger train was operating here in 1968.
French rolling stock
The railway near the harbour
The harbour serves also a passenger line to Finland, Vasa. Operated by Wasaline ferry, the trip takes 4h30m

Hector Rail 841 diesel locomotive, similar to T43

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