Trains and buses cancelled due to extreme cold
Frigid temperatures of down to -42 degrees Celsius have prompted the national rail operator SJ and the rail operator Norrtåg to cancel several departures north of the city of Boden.
SJ has cancelled all departures north of Boden, but might still run the southbound train scheduled to leave Kiruna at 5.19 p.m. Rail operator Norrtåg has cancelled all departures between the cities of Umeå and Luleå and five bus lines in the county of Norrbotten have been cancelled.
Lars Hedström, press spokesperson at the Transport Administration's regional office in the north, tells Swedish Radio News that it is up to the train and bus operators to decide when to cancel departures due to extreme cold, and he says that it is a matter of public safety.
"If something were to happen to a train and it should stop in the middle of the forest somewhere, the situation can turn dangerous rather quickly given these temperatures. It's simply too cold," Hedström says.
The cold has not only affected traffic in the north, 50 bus departures had to be cancelled in the county of Värmland in central Sweden as bus drivers could not get their buses to start, according to news agency TT.
"For some reason the biofuel runs slower in colder temperatures and that caused a filter in the engine to clog up," Lars Bull, CEO of the local public transportation company Värmlandstrafik, tells TT.
The cold snap is expected to continue for the next few days, but warmer temperatures are moving in over the weekend.