Transport trouble to continue on Thursday

Transport trouble to continue on Thursday
A new snowstorm pushing in through the south of Sweden, with more snow and winds forecast, has led to the cancellation of train services in some areas as operators are forced to prioritise key routes.

Swedish meteorological agency SMHI has issued a class 1 warning (on an ascending scale of three) for Skåne, Blekinge and Öland in southern Sweden.

The Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) has therefore announced plans to cancel local train services in some places in the country during the day.

Malmö will be the worst hit, with services cut by 40 percent, while up the coast in Gothenburg and in Norrköping in eastern Sweden, services will be reduced by about 20 percent.

The move has been taken to enable work to clear tracks and points from build ups of ice and snow, and so that other services can be run as normal. Further delays and cancellations could however be announced later.

The Thursday cancellations equate to around the same level of disruption as has occurred in recent days, Ola Nilsson at the agency’s press office said.

“Commuter services in southern Sweden will run on a Sunday schedule. We thin out the schedules for local trains because they tend to go quite often and you can take a later train. It’s easier than having to cancel long-distance trains.”

The heavy snowstorms over southern Sweden are the reason given for the decision to cut back traffic, although the cancellation of local trains is no guarantee that other routes function normally.

“We can’t guarantee that there will be no cancellations of long-distance trains and the risk (of doing so) increases with the cold and snow.”

Coach operator Swebus experienced delays of up to 20 minutes during the night and early morning, warning that problems may continue throughout the day and night.

“We expect slick roads in southern Sweden and a lot of traffic. Traffic will flow, but we think there could be delays because there is a lot of traffic,” said Ingvar Ryggesjö at Swebus.

The lowest overnight temperatures, plunging to -35 degrees Celsius, were recorded in Åsele and Wilhelmina in northern Sweden. Increased cloud in southern areas helped to ease up the temperature gauge somewhat.

As Christmas Eve approaches, the snowfalls will spread up along the east coast of Götaland.

There remain problems with air services to Frankfurt and London Heathrow and passengers are asked to contact their airlines for more information.

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