14th & 15th September 2015 - More and Mora
Monday 14th September 2015
As Sweden was a new country for us, there was plenty do; new lines, new locos, a combination of both? We ended up doing something that was suggested by one of our fellow cranks yesterday which seemed to be as good a combination of new track and new locos as we were likely to get and that was to catch the morning IC train to Falun, double back a short distance then take another IC to Mora before returning to Uppsala or Stockholm.
Falun was a little closer than Mora and should take just over two hours though it took a little longer than booked due to some very slow running between Avesta-Krylbo and Säter due to what appeared to be some sort of signalling or level crossing failure. Whilst the train was trundling through the affected section we paid a visit to the buffet car and found the same lady who had checked our tickets behind the counter. She had a good memory of where her passengers were seated as she helpfully informed us that tea and coffee were free for first class passengers, a nice little bonus though perhaps we should not have been unduly surprised as it is the same in Denmark. The difference being that here, at least on this IC train with a buffet car, you had to go and get it yourself rather than help yourself from supplies left in the seating area.
Falun station had recently been upgraded and a new bus station grafted onto one side which looked as if it had only just been opened. Railway-wise, there was a roundhouse with some preserved items outside further down the line and brand new platform for the “preserved” line to Grycksbo across the road from the main station.
We had time for a brief walk round before catching the same IC back to the junction station of Borlänge where there was a large rail-served steel works and a yard next to the station. Things looked fairly quiet but we there for less than 20 minutes and did get the chance for a quick snap of a Green Cargo class T44 diesel loco.
Our next move was an IC train to Mora where we would have just under an hour before a three hour journey back to Uppsala. The train passed through some pleasant scenery dotted with lakes and what looked to be plenty of holiday homes but the weather deteriorated as we headed north and it was drizzling by the time we reached Mora which put us off going for a walk. The town centre looked to be some distance away so we contented ourselves with a trip to the garage across the road for lunch and taking some photos of the T44 loco that started shunting in the yard as we got back to the station.
Mora was also a combined bus and rail station so we went inside for a gander and found out that there was free wi-fi, most useful as check in had just opened for our flight home tomorrow afternoon so we did that straight away, managing to bag some exit row seats. On the way back to Stockholm the weather brightened up and we were disturbed at Borlänge by four young people who claimed that we were in their seats, not a problem as there were plenty of other ones spare.
We had been advised that it was best to reserve seats on ICs in Sweden and that reservations were not shown in the train but we were willing to take pot luck and move if need be but, on the evidence we had seen so far (all of two trains!), there was plenty of space in 1st class though it would be probably be a good idea if travelling in 2nd class or during busy periods. We were told that reservations can easily be bought on-line and collected from a ticket machine but, unlike Germany, they cannot be bought from the machine. We had also been told that there were only about two or three railway ticket offices in the whole of Sweden so everything would have to be bought on-line or at a ticket machine, none of which we could see would accept cash; thank goodness for an Interrail!
We had an uneventful run to Uppsala where we decided to get off and take the RE train with a pair of new locos into Stockholm to see what we could find to eat there; the answer to that being another burger! This was at a place called Maxburger which looked to be Sweden’s answer to McDonalds and, in our opinion, was better – it was certainly vastly superior to the establishment in Uppsala that we used three days ago. Back at the station there was some sort of farce unfolding on the line to Uppsala and after letting one train with a dud loco on go we then found out that the 20:11 departure was delayed then cancelled, next one at 21:11, Cheers then!
Tuesday 15th September 2016
After two weeks away and an annoying fester at Stockholm last night our “get up and go” had “got up and gone” this morning and we couldn’t be bothered to get up early to try and scoop some more new locos in on the peak hour services. We eventually trundled across to the station and had one last new Rc6 which took us to Stockholm but there was a distinct lack of loco-hauled services going via the airport at Arlanda so our final move for this trip was an EMU.
Overall, we had enjoyed Sweden and the event at Gävle had been an excellent introduction to the country. We were told that there is often one big railway event every couple of years or so in Sweden so certainly something to look out for in 2017 though there is every chance that we might be back before then.
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