Facebook Page
Sweden Railways 2003
 Sweden 2003
I spent a few days in Sweden in September, 2003, staying in Stockholm. My wife and I took the Arlanda Express directly from Stockholm's international airport into the city center, I took a trip up the coast to Gavle, to visit the Swedish Railway Museum, riding a conventional Intercity express, and we ended our stay by taking a high speed X2000 train to Malmo on our way to Germany. The Swedish railway system is going through something of a rebirth after a period in the early 1990s when it was losing passengers and bleeding red ink -- a time of overall crisis for the Swedish welfare state. Rather than go the British route and privatize or the French one and build expensive new dedicated rights of way, it took a middle route, adding a layer of sleek and fast new X2000 Acela-like trains to existing routes, where between major cities one generally has a choice each hour or so between the extra-fare X2000s or more conventional Intercity expresses. Some routes, such as the overnight one between the south of the country and Narvik in the north are run by Connex, a private company that offers services in Britain and Western Europe. The Swedish trains I rode are rather spartan, with barebones but very affordable food services. Stations are well maintained (many seem to be in the process of being upgraded). Everywhere I encountered very friendly staff, and nobody seemed worried about security when I hung around stations to take photographs (I did ask initially what the policy was).

Here are a few photos and materials from the trip.

Immediately below is the sleek and fast Arlanda Express, which speeds passengers from a station inside the main international airport to the Central Station in Stockholm, where these photos were taken.        


Below is an Arlanda Express heading into Stockholm Central and an Intercity express pulling into Gavle.

Here is a ticket envelope

The following are photos of Intercity expresses in Gavle and pulling into Stockholm Central.


Below is an Intercity express second class coach and a set of photos taken of various local and regional trains.

Here is the national timetable.

 Below are copies of the Connex brochure describing its Narvik service, which includes trains with a variety of sleepers, restaurant cars and other services. The map shows their routes.


On the left below is the Connex express getting ready for its departure to Narvik, on the right an X2000 express -- both in Stockholm.


Here is the Bistro on the train we took from Stockholm to Malmo.

Here is a Stockholm-Malmo ticket. Note: we traveled on to Trellenborg, a port near Malmo, by bus for a ferry ride across the Baltic to Germany.

Below is a Stockholm metro train passing through the Old Town section of the city.

The following are photographs of Stockholm Central station, a huge place with many restaurants and customer service help desks.

On the left below is a rural station on the Stockholm - Gavle route, on the right the main station in Malmo.


On the left, the interior of the Malmo station, on the right the interior at Gavle, which is being refurbished.

Click here to see our Swedish Railway Museum photos.