28 Nov 2012

Slow comfortable travel

Blå Tåget

Blå Tåget, originally uploaded by Elmar Eye.

Travelled from Göteborg to Stockholm last Saturday on Blå Tåget. Swedish carriages from the 1960s - the high point of Scandinavian design - have been tastefully refurbished, and the train is complemented with a German dining car and a lounge car from the 1970s. The locomotive is modern and hired in. The train runs on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and was well filled, possibly because the fare undercuts the SJ ticket price and people do not mind the slightly longer journey time, an extra half an hour, making it four hours, which is perfectly acceptable. In fact, the slower speed makes for a pleasanter and more relaxing journey as one can watch the landscape go by.

Food is cooked on board in the traditional way, so if you have your meal about half-way through the trip, the journey is soon over.

After a tentative start earlier in the year, patronage seems to be building nicely. Keeping the speed down keeps the costs down and clearly there is a market for this kind of travel.

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