Rail operator refused to stop for disabled boy

14-year-old wheelchair-bound Viktor Magnusson wanted to take the train from Sundsvall to Uppsala to visit his sister, but he was told by rail operator SJ staff that he could not get off the train as it "would take too long".

“They said ‘we can’t fuss about like this at every station’. But there is only one space for a wheelchair on every train,” said Viktor’s mother, Ann-Louise Magnusson, to the Svenska Dagbladet daily.

Ann-Louise Magnusson told the newspaper that her son would have been forced to stay on the train to Stockholm and then take a train back to Uppsala at his own expense. As the extended journey would have left him only two and half hours in Uppsala they decided against the trip.

The Magnussons have now reported SJ to the discrimination ombudsman (Diskrimineringsombudsman – DO).

Dag Rosander at SJ told The Local on Friday that the firm is in the process of changing its wheelchair lifts on X2000 trains, work which will be completed in the beginning of 2011.

“We now have a system of manual lifts and what we have said in the time being is that these are available at start and end destinations. It is our policy to then pay for a taxi back to the stations en route.”

Rosander said that the matter is now under investigation.

“The family called our customer service and should have been informed about this. We are going to contact the mother and get to the bottom of this,” he said.

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Trains stopped between Stockholm and Gothenburg

Trains between Stockholm and Gothenburg have been stopped and between Stockholm and Malmö severely disrupted due to a fire and several electrical faults.

Trains stopped between Stockholm and Gothenburg

“We have problems with all rail traffic south of Norrland,” Peter Jonsson, from the Swedish Transport Administration, told the country’s TT newswire. “The heat has of course had an impact, particularly when it concerns the fire, but we’re not otherwise speculating on the cause.” 

According to the agency, the issues are the result of four separate incidents, a fire south of Hallsberg, an overhead power contact line, which has snapped, and two electrical faults. 

Peter Krameus, a spokesperson for Sweden’s state-owned rail company SJ, said that all trains were being sent back to the stations from which they most recently departed until the faults could be corrected. 

While trains between Stockholm and Gothenburg have been stopped completely, trains between Stockholm and Malmö have been affected by two problems with overhead lines. Trains between Mjölby and Nässjö and Eslöv and Stehag are travelling onto on one of the two lines now. 

“That doesn’t mean that all traffic has stopped, but it’s going to mean cancelled trains and delayed departures,” Jonsson said. 

So far, 50 of SJ’s train departures have been cancelled as a result of the faults.