Efficient Transport in Northern Europe
STEEL AND REINFORCED CONCRETE are widely used to-
THE railway conquest of the world embraces many romances of transportation under difficulties. In few corners of the globe, however, has the railway engineer raised such a wonderful monument to his skill and adaptability as in Sweden. There, even within the Arctic Circle, many luxurious passenger trains to-
But little of the railway mileage of Sweden lies within the Arctic Circle, although these “farthest north” railways form an attractive section of the country’s transportation system. From north to south, the Swedish railways cover a distance of approximately a thousand miles, extending over several degrees of latitude. While at certain seasons some portions of track may be almost snowbound, and kept open for traffic only by the constant vigilance of the snow-
Construction of Sweden’s first railway began in 1850 by a company under government charter, and shortly afterwards the first section of the government railway between Stockholm and Gothenburg was opened for traffic. In general, the Swedish railways are single-
As is common on most European lines, flat-
Because of the innumerable rivers to be crossed, Sweden possesses many notable bridge works on her railway system. At the outset most of the Swedish bridges were built of wood felled in the adjacent forests, and were mostly of short span. Later, arched stone bridges were introduced, but, the cost of these proving prohibitive, iron structures were used. Maintenance charges being heavy on this class of structure, attention was next turned to the possibilities of reinforced concrete, and to-
IRON ORE TRAIN on the Narvik-
Swedish train signalling installations are, in the main, similar in design to those of Norway, Germany, and other neighbouring countries. Modern interlocking plants are provided at all the principal stations, and automatic block signalling on most main lines. The Swedish State Railways have attained a most enviable standard of safety. This is in a considerable measure attributable to the excellence of the signalling apparatus employed, and to the care and vigilance exercised by all concerned in the movement of trains.
Sweden possesses many excellent examples of imposing railway stations. Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo, and Uppsala are typical passenger stations. All are built on exceptionally commodious lines, and are admirably designed from the operating point of view. Sweden was one of the first European countries to recognize the value of an attractive city station in drawing business to the railway, and the salesmanship side of her railway undertaking has been extraordinarily well developed. Many of the Swedish station employees speak excellent English, and no pains are spared to make the lot of the traveller an unusually pleasant one.
Steam locomotives in Sweden are mostly manufactured within the country itself, notably at the Trollhattan and Motala workshops; passenger and freight stock is built at Malmo, Kristianstad, and Arlof. The Swedish State Railways have centralized all their rolling-
Sweden claims to be the first country in the world to introduce the third-
Passengers travelling by first-
SWEDEN’S FIRST RAILWAY began in 1850 as a company under government charter. To-
The principal railway routes in Sweden are the lines joining Stockholm with Gothenburg and Malmo, to the southwest, with a connecting link to Oslo, capital of Norway; that from Stockholm via Uppsala and Bracke to Trondhjem; and the “farthest north” railway link connecting Bracke with Boden and Narvik in the Arctic Circle. All these lines connect with Norway. The Stockholm-
On the Stockholm-
Sweden is linked up with other European countries by an elaborate system of steamships and ocean-
The principal Swedish train-
The train deck of the Trelleborg-
Because of the operation of this important Baltic train-
Without doubt the most interesting of all Swedish railways is the so-
This line runs for seventy miles through the region of eternal snow, reaching a latitude of 68°25' N. It forms part of the through route previously referred to between Stockholm, Bracke, Boden, and Narvik. Between Stockholm and Narvik there is a through train daily in either direction. The run occupies some thirty-
THE CENTRAL RAILWAY STATION at Stockholm, which was rebuilt in 1927. This photograph shows the main concourse of the building.
The extreme north is a land of contrasts. This is the land of the Midnight Sun -
It was the exploitation of the rich iron-
Not many years ago Narvik did not exist; to-
STEAM LOCOMOTION still plays an important part on Swedish railways despite extensive electrification. There are some 800 steam engines in use, most of which are of Swedish manufacture. English locomotive coal is largely used, but fuel is also imported from Germany.
Both divisions traverse the wildest, loneliest and most silent stretches of the peninsula, where the snow holds undisputed sway for the greater part of the year. Traffic is chiefly confined to the movement of the ore, although there is appreciable passenger traffic to and from the ironfields. In 1899 Kiruna was little more than a village. A few wooden shacks dotted the flats around the shore of the lake with a rough wagon-
of electric lights illuminating the working faces, where gigantic tools are labouring, resemble streets. The prevailing blackness of the mountain is punctured in all directions and in seemingly endless succession by vivid flashes of flame from the deton-
ON THE ROUTE OF THE LAPLAND EXPRESS. This is the name familiarly applied to an express train of the Swedish State Railways which travels northwards from Stockholm with a through coach for the Riksgransen railway, in the extreme north of Sweden, well within the Arctic Circle. The Riksgransen Railway was constructed under considerable difficulties, but the enemy of ice and snow has been faced and defeated. In this photograph a station-
The port of Lulea is ice-
Electrification of the Arctic Circle Railway began so long ago as 1910. By 1923 the electrification had been completed throughout from Lulea to Narvik. The original electric locomotives employed by the Swedish State Railways on this 300-
The iron ore trains consist of forty wagons as a general rule, with a guard’s van and electric locomotive, and on the steepest gradients speeds of from 18 to 22 miles per hour are maintained. Two insulators, each supporting a 6mm steel wire, are fitted at the top of the contact line poles. This wire is employed to carry 60-
Underground Power House
The current is transformed to a lower voltage in track-
Electric current for the entire railway is produced at the Porjus power station by four single-
The Porjus power plant of the Swedish authorities is one of the largest in Europe, being equipped for 82,500 horsepower. As a protection against climatic conditions, the machine-
The greatest attraction for the traveller over this most wonderful of the world’s railways is, of course, the far-
THE SODERTALJE BRIDGE, near Stockholm. This structure, which carries an electrified section of line, is of the rolling lift type. The central span is pivoted on the left-
You can read more on the Iron Ore Railway in Wonders of World Engineering.