Mon, 30 Jan 2023

STOCKHOLM, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- Commuter trains in the Swedish capital are still experiencing extensive disruptions after the entire train system came to a complete halt on Wednesday, Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter (DN) has reported.

MTR Nordic AB, which operates commuter trains in Stockholm, told DN on Thursday that the continued interruptions to services were due to factors including a lack of staff.

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 Dec. 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. 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," said Carl Fredrik Johansson, press manager at MTR Nordic AB.

Meanwhile, drivers of the commuter trains have protested, saying they cannot operate the trains 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 centers 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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