Monday, 2 October 2017

fbb Reads A Book

Mrs fbb bought it for her chubby hubby for a massive 50p from a Seaton second-hand book shop. She thought it might be of interest as it was, according to the blurb on the back, about a crime committed on a bus. It even had two buses on the front cover.

Written (in Swedish) in 1968, it was translated into American and this paperback appeared in 2002.
After a short scene-setting chapter evoking the generally dismal style of so-called "Scandi Noir" ...
... we meet the bus.

fbb's interest was, indeed, aroused.
It was on Sunday 3rd September 1967 that Sweden changed from driving on the left (as in UK) to the right. It was a massive change and happened with typcal nordic efficiency and good-will.

Dagen H (H day), today usually called "Högertrafikomläggningen" ("The right-hand traffic diversion"), was the day, 3 September 1967, on which traffic in Sweden switched from driving on the left-hand side of the road to the right. The "H" stands for "Högertrafik", the Swedish word for "right traffic". It was by far the largest logistical event in Sweden's history.
As Dagen H neared, every intersection was equipped with an extra set of poles and traffic signals wrapped in black plastic. Workers roamed the streets early in the morning on Dagen H to remove the plastic. Similarly, a parallel set of lines were painted on the roads with white paint, then covered with black tape. Before Dagen H, Swedish roads had used yellow lines.

There was a motoring curfew for much of the Sunday morning to allow this conversion work to take place. Then (in urban areas) a hooter sounded and drivers were told to move carefully from the left to the right.
The changes to Public Transport were massive. Most tram services in Stockholm ...
... were withdrawn and replaced by buses.

The book's description of one such vehicle is spot on!
Double deck, two sets of doors and two staircases; Leyland with Park Royal bodywork. The front "peak" on the roof will be familiar to UK bus watchers.

But there is no route 47 anymore.

Bellmansro at Djurgården (south east of the City Centre) is now the terminus of tramline 7 ...
... and here is a tram to prove it!
The book's 47 continues north west from the centre. It runs, says the book, via Karlbergsvägen ...
... turns right here ...
...  on to Norrbackagatan and down the hill to join Norra Stationsgatan.
It is all told in simple but accurate detail in the book.

Instead of turning left, the bus runs across the main road (remember this is 1967 - it looks completely different now) and embeds itself in the fence of a disused railway yard. The crime has been committed!
Exciting, isn't it?

Nothing performs this terminal triangular loop today ...
... because Norrbackagatan is no longer a through road; flats and stuff blocks the old route at the thinner white lines on the map above.
fbb guesses that service 47 in 1967 terminated at the "blue bus logo" ready to return to the centre via Karlbergsvägen. The stop is still there.
Todays route, loosely following the 47, is numbered 69.
It runs the full length of Karlbergsvägen, burrows under a spaghetti of road bridges ...
... (the likely former 47 terminus is bottom right) and has a nice little terminal loop at "K Tomteboda" a little further on.
"K" is Karolinska Institutet.
The Karolinska Institutet, sometimes known as the (Royal) Caroline Institute in English, is a medical university in Solna within the Stockholm urban area, Sweden, and one of the largest and most prestigious medical universities in the world.

So where, exactly, is "Karlberg", terminus of the 47? More in due course.

fbb has, so far, learned a few Swedish words ...

köp biljett med mobilappen

... and a few more. It will get better with time. And apologies to any Swedish speaking readers if fbb has incorrectly incorporated his diacritics - it can be painful because there are quite a lot in Swedish!

 Stockholm or Farnborough? - Tuesday 3rd October 

1 comment:

  1. Of interest about the Stockholm Atlanteans is that they never had destination displays, only route number boxes. However, Stockholms Localtrafic (SL) did provide some excellent maps, of which I have a number, to help you.