SWEDEN: Passenger services have been reinstated on the 159 km route between Boden and Haparanda on the border with Finland.
Regular passenger services on the line had ended in 1992, but have now restarted with Vy Tåg’s Norrtåg subsidiary initially operating two return trains a day from Luleå to Haparanda and a single pair of trains between Umeå and Haparanda, using two-car Bombardier Regina X52 EMUs.
The only stop between Haparanda and Boden is at Kalix, where a new station has been built, while the old station at Haparanda has been refurbished.
‘It feels good to create more opportunities for sustainable travel’, said Vy Tåg Business Manager Christer Berglund when the service was launched on April 1. ‘It will also be easier for those who live in Haparanda and Kalix to get to Stockholm, as the timetable is designed for onward connections.’
There are ambitions to increase the services to five trains per day each way. Göran Wigren of Haparanda municipality said ‘the next obvious step’ would be to reinstate a service connecting Sweden and Finland, as both 1 435 mm gauge Swedish and 1 524 mm gauge Finnish tracks serve Haparanda station, with interlaced track across the border bridge, ‘and a future train change is a smooth walk through the station building’.