Commuter trains in Sweden still experiencing extensive disruption

Commuter trains in the Swedish capital of Stockholm are still experiencing extensive disruptions after the entire train system came to a complete halt earlier this week, local media reported.

MTR Nordic AB, which operates commuter trains in Stockholm, told Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter (DN) on Thursday that the continued interruptions to services were due to factors including a lack of staff, reports Xinhua news agency.

MTR has previously announced that they would cut down on the number of conductors on commuter trains.

However, this decision was partially reversed due to the Swedish Transport Administration switching their planning system on December 11, which MTR feared would cause disruptions.

“At short notice, we made changes, mainly due to the concerns we have ahead of the launch of the Swedish Transport Administration’s new planning system to be introduced on Sunday (December 11),” said Carl Fredrik Johansson, press manager at MTR Nordic AB.

“As a consequence, we decided not to decrease the number (of conductors) by 30 percent as planned. However, it became hard to find people who could work as conductors,” he added

Meanwhile, drivers of the commuter trains have protested, saying they cannot operate safely without conductors.

Johansson told DN that the number of conductors had been cut at the request of Region Stockholm, which wants to replace them with CCTV cameras.

Thursday’s disruptions followed an incident on Wednesday when all train traffic in Sweden came to a complete standstill for approximately two hours, after phone contact between traffic control centres and trains was interrupted.

The technology problem also had a knock-on effect on the train traffic running on Thursday, DN reported.

Other train operators are also concerned about the potential negative effects of the Swedish Transport Administration’s change of planning system, and some have booked buses in case their trains are not able to run, Swedish Television reported.




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