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 As part of this scheme some tram routes were withdrawn including the Lidingo route into Stockholm centre.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 

Tuesday 28 November 2023

Sophistication in Sweden's Stockholm

But Maybe Not For SL?

When fbb was a childhood and ignorant collector of postage stamps. he remembers that those fot Sweden were printed on very cheap paper and not a patch on those of Queen Elizabeth II.
They look a bit brighter now but still a bit flimsy. But there is no monetary value on them.
There is a King ...
... who has been on the throne for 50 years. He is King Carl Gustaf and his queen is Silvia.
She has a 30 Krone commemorative with price printed thereupon - but this year's Christmas stamp (just one not about 100 as in the UK) is unpriced. (OK Maybe 100 is a bit if an exaggeration but ...)
They have quite a neat system for postal rates. Currently they go up in steps of 15 Kr and a single stamp pays 15 Kr of postage - so for a 45 Kr mailing you stick on THREE identical unpriced  stamps.
Jul (Yule in English) is "Christmas" and Brev means "mail". Seemples!

fbb struggled to remember what he had forgotten about Sweden and, with a bit of a prod from Wikipedia, came up with Saab and Volvo cars ...
... Bjorn Borg ...
... Auguste Strindberg ...
... and a popular music group whose name currently escapes him?
Were they in any way successful?

Stockholm ...
... has a city population roughly equivalent to Birmingham but is built on a multiplicity of islands.
This makes things exciting for public transport.

It has red buses ...
... and blue buses.
It has blue trams ...
... and suburban trains (also mainly blue) designated "Metro" ...
... and airport express trains in cream and yellow.
It also has a small, narrow gauge suburban network ...
... which is now being equipped with shiny new trains.
Everything (except the Airport Express) is run by "SL" the city's transport authority; but everything is "contracted out" to a variety of operators.

But the web site ...

... maybe fbb is thick; he doesn't know any Swedish and the English translation version of the web site seems hopelessly inadequate!
Your elderly blogger has found a rail network map ...
... ferries ditto ...
... and diagrams of many, many unpronounceable interchanges.
He tried to "sok" ...
... (with "umlaut") but to no avail.

No map of the bus network is on offer and no obvious timetables of anything!

While you are reading this, fbb will be trying harder. But tomorrow's blog will look more closely at the well-mapped rail services.


Use the online planning tools or pick up a timetable. Timetable booklets are free of charge and you can pick them up at the SL Centers.

SL Center are our travel information and customer service centers that are located around town.

You can download a timetable at the Swedish section, but that service is not available in English.

The timetables are in Swedish, but should be fairly easy to understand if you have a slight command of Swedish.

Haven't found them yet!

 Next Stockholm blog : Wednesday 29th November