Friday 1 December 2023

Sophistication in Sweden's Stockholm 4

Successfully Sophisticated?

One of the strange things that has spread through today's rail industry is rip-off fares for trains (sometimes buses or trams) for journeys from City to Airport. Stockholm is no different.

 A rlanda  A irport

The airport was opened by King Gustaf Adolph in 1962.

Plans for an airport rail link between the central business district of Stockholm and the airport was launched in the early 1980s. The goal was to reduce road congestion and emissions while allowing Arlanda to keep increasing passenger numbers. The Swedish Rail Administration made a specific plan in the late 1980s which involved the construction of a branch from the existing East Coast Line.
This resulted in a project plan which was launched in 1990, which specifically suggested Rosersberg and Odensala as the intersections with the existing line. Use

There is a Central airport station ...
... and a North Station which is in a tunnel under the newer Terminal 5. Trains run non stop from the city's Central station. 

Trains run every 20 minutes, increased to every 10 and "peak" times

Trains are privately owned and not part of the Swedish national rail operation ...
... hence the special livery.

For the followers of UK politics, the line was built by the operating company under a dreaded PPP funding scheme. The P for Public side of the P for Partnership cost the state oodles of Krone.

The result is that the terms of the agreement for the P for Private company are unfavourable for the Nation and the passengers.

The Arlanda Express can charge what it wants to its customers and, even more bizarrely, can change anything it likes for open access.

Not surprisingly the Express is not well used!
But very expensive compared with "normal" travel".

A single adult fare is 320 Kr - that is a whopping £24 for an 18 minute journey. It makes Heathrow Express rip-off fares look cheap.
Despite the price, the set-up does give the impression of a quality service ...
... with a smart Arlanda Express lounge. There isn't much seating ...
... but there is a real man/woman who will sell you a ticket!
Coach travel ....
... will cost just under £10 (single) on line.

Local trains are even cheaper still but take 48 minutes! They are part of the Stockholm suburban network but they, too, have a "special" fare.


 A ssorted  A ttitudes

What do these have in common? Soot?
Gymnastic equipment?
Humphrey from TV series "Ghosts"
Answer, they are all WITHOUT something. It's from the Greek, you know!

Carbon soot is  A morphous - without shape.
The gymnasium bars are  A symmetric - without matching each other.
Humphrey is  A cephalic - without a head!

Attitudes to  CHRISTmas  are similarly varied.

Some folk show great faith, such a great and powerful faith that that they are utterly certain that there is no God. CHRISTmas is therefore no more than an excuse for a party!
 A theist

Others claim they "just don't know" and use the word ...
 A gnostic
... although the word actually means that you feel God is ever "unknowable", which is not the same thing at all.

But the majority of the public would appear to be ...
 A pathetic
... with no real interest in the Godly reason for the season. Way back, "pathos" just meant emotion - so without any "emotion" or enthusiasm.

Perhaps there should be a new word, coined for those who would like to think there is "something" special here - but don't understand what it is.

Listen to any Christian carol and it will tell you that the Season should be life changing.
 Cut Price "B" blog : Saturday 2nd December 

Thursday 30 November 2023

Sophistication in Sweden's Stockholm 3


It is one of those islands that, according to fbb in his intro blog, makes public transport in Stockholm "interesting". As you can see, it is linked to Stockholm city by a bridge, but it was not always thus. In 1803 the link was by, literally, a floating bridge consisting of a line of pontoons.
This was renewed and improved in 1883, presumably to make it possible to cross by they new fangled horseless carriages.
In 1925 the "Old" Bridge was built carrying one lane of motor traffic and one tram track.
Once the "New" bridge was opened in 1972 ...
... its predecessor became tram, pedestrian and cycle only and so it remains today.
But there was a tram on the island well before there was a tram bridge ...
... and to complete the link to Stockholm there was a tram ferry!
... seen below about to dock.
There are two useful sources of on-line stiff for the Lidingo tram/train. One is the Swedish Wikipedia with a very full history of the line; but well beyond fbb's limited linguistic abilities. The other is an 11 minute video on YouTube, mainly  talking head and all in Swedish. But it does offer a few mayos which helps fbb piece together a thumbnail view of how the line developed.
Once the bridge was built, trams continued from Ropsten (the current city terminus) on Stockholm's ordinary tram tracks into the centre.

A second branch was opened ...
Then in the 1960s the original branch was closed, leaving today's southern route. Along came Hoger Dag ...
... when driving on the l|EFT (like UK) changed o driving on the RIGHT. As part of this scheme some tram routes were withdrawn including the Lidingo route into Stockholm centre. This link is now provided by Tunnelbana 13.
For most of its history the Lidingobanan has only has three types of tram. Single cars began the service until more modern stock took over. These two vehicle types are illustrated in the following short video of a heritage tunning day, mainly shot at or near Ropsten terminus.
Modern stock now operates the line ...
... and a ride reveals, in addition to the bridge, some rather good scenery.
A few bits of the original but closed section remain, as here with a pub/caff that was a station ...
... but the existing line has been extensively modernised and upgraded, so its ancient heritage has all-but faded into non-existence.
Above is a tram at the original Kyrkviken terminus.


But according to the man on the YouTube video, there is a campaign to re-open the original line; or something very similar. Needless to say the politics are getting in the way. The politicians say there needs to be a vast expansion of housing to justify a new tram ...
... but the populace doesn't want to lose the area's relative cosiness.
Ah, 'twas ever thus.

Nothing specific has yet appeared.

In addition to the usual "Advent Calendar" content, fbb will be reining back his blogmanship during December, and doing stuff that needs far less research than has been needed fur many recent postings. He is busy with family commitments, church events, hospital eye appointments etc etc.

The public transport topics will appear under the heading :-

 A lphabetic  B log
for  C hristmas

X and Z will be a problem!

 Next A B C blog : Friday 1st December 

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Sophistication in Sweden's Stockholm 2

Two Rails Local Network

fbb can manage "karta" (map) and "trafik" (traffic) and can guess that "spar" might be train or rail. But "spar" is the name of a chain of convenience stores ...
... which fbb always thought was a play on the words for cheap and pine tree! And rail in Swedish is "jarnwag" (iron road, surely) whilst train is "tag".

Fortunately, the map offers at least an English translation of most of the tricky bits.

The network offers three categories of service. Here are some lines market "T" on the map ...

... so that would be trams, then?

Wrong again, fbb; it is Stockholm's metro; T is for "tunnelbana".

"bana" translates literally as path, so maybe tunnel routes or even underground routes would be a likely translation. 

Let's try lines 10 and 11 for real! So we are looking for the "bla linen" which fbb could have guessed was blue line even without the translation! There's is clue in the colour on the map!
The station at Hjulsta is underground and very smart ...
... with lifts ...
... and escalators for the two-stage descent. 
The general finish is "hewn rockface" primitive in style.
The other northern terminus is Akala with a similar rocky decoration but seemingly in a cream colour rather than grey.
The two lines join ...
... then, after passing through the main Central station, the city terminus is "Kungstradgarden" - King Street Garden.
This time the hewn stone is blue with more added mysterious artwork.
So the whole line is underground.

The Kingstradgarden itself looks rather fine in a very formal sort of way.
The station entrance is in a little cars-banned side street but with a welcoming "T" at its end.
And there it is on the left.
The history of the line is surprisingly complex. With the help of Wikipedia, fbb can list what happened.

Groundbreaking for the Blue Line occurred on 2 September 1966.

31 August 1975
Line was opened between 
T-Centralen and Hjulsta via Hallonbergen. 

5 June 1977
the branch from
Hallonbergen to Akalla opened

30 October 1977
extended in the opposite direction from
T-Centralen to Kungsträdgården.

19 August 1985
opened between
Västra skogen and Rinkeby
via Sundbybergs centrum. 
Line 10 was then diverted over this section
and no more passenger trains operated on the
Hallonbergen–Rinkeby section.

The blue line is thus all in tunnel except parts of the abandoned section which lead to the depot, possibly this one, also used by "proper" trains"
Other Tunnelbana lines do have open air sections. 

A nice simple one is at the northern terminus of line 13 ...
... where the Metro connects with Tram 21.

The Metro comes out of its tunnel and on to a viaduct ...
.. .whence a walkway leads to tram 21.
It is called the "Lidingobanan and starts off as single track!
This leads us neatly (?) into tomorrow's blog which looks at "trams and light rail".

 Next Stockholm blog : Thursday 30th November