Sweden's railway infrastructure is falling behind. Photo:Bertil Ericson/Johan Nilsson/Scanpix

Minister confused about railway maintenance bill

The Infrastructure Minister Catharina Elmsäter-Svärd said she does not know what to do with the legislation Parliament passed today to improve the coordination for maintenance on the country's struggling railway infrastructure.

"I don't really know, they have to clarify what they mean," she told news agency TT last week, before Parliament voted on the bill.

The bill states that the government should, "as soon as possible", propose how upkeep of the railways should be organized to ensure that more trains are on time.

The bill passed with 152 votes to 150, with the Social Democrats, the Greens, the Left Party, and the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats joining forces.

The parties of the center-right Alliance argued that the opposition wants to re-nationalize maintenance of the railways. The Transport Agency currently has overall responsibility for rail maintenance. But the agency uses several different companies to do the work.

The opposition says no one takes responsibility for the upkeep, which they say leads to freezing train passengers, standing trains, or trains that never come at all.

Elmsäter-Svärd says she is confused about what exactly the opposition wants. During the debate she lamented that the opposition was using the Parliament just "to have fun".

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
Du hittar dina sparade avsnitt i menyn under "Min lista".