Hi,


As promised, I would like to present a different topic for a change. It is a historic trip following the motto "10 years ago" - still, from a photographic viewpoint things had progressed since the previous trip to Cuba I showed recently. From January 2004 I used a Canon 300D as my first DSLR, a tele lens was added in March. I still mainly visited stations for railway photography, but already had ventured out into the landscape a couple of times. For this trip I only could record pictures in medium quality, otherwise the laptop storage capacity would have been exceeded - what luxurious times we are living in! The Olympus Camedia C3000Z compact camera had not been completely retired yet, it would be mostly used to take pictures out of moving trains and on location by the "third hand". All in all I hope to present a different picture of Scandinavia here than just exclusively landscape photography.
For the first time in years I took a trip with my parents - in Scandinavia you don't get around monetary advantages as a youngster. Such a hotel featuring a Scandinavian buffet for breakfast lasting the whole day - sometimes having to last the day - is quite nice. We had scheduled a roundtrip through Sweden and Norway, perhaps it will be extended later on...


Only Finland should be definitely skipped, we already had visited it in 1997 going by train from Moscow via St. Petersburg to Helsinki, continuing by "Finnjet" express overnight ferry to Travemünde, then via Lübeck to Hamburg and by night train to Vienna – also a possibility to travel from Moscow to Vienna without flying.

The YouTube-videos of that trip, recorded 1997 in Hi8 - however, uploaded to YouTube when it did not offer high resolution yet:
Moscow:
St. Petersburg - Helsinki:
Finnjet from Helsinki:
Finnjet to Travemünde:
Hamburg:


Each of us received a good old ScanRail Pass - an offer sadly only existing until 2007 - valid 10 days within 2 months. We planned to arrange necessary reservations in Sweden on location and for Norway by phone.
To provide an overview I will attach a ScanRail-map with the former and current itinerary:
http://raildata.info/sca04/sca0400k.jpg



July 4 2004

You will ask yourself, why the title: "across Vienna"? Did this guy make an error, he is coming from there? That may be the case, however, in this instance the title is meant literally. Long distances on the first leg of the tour were covered in the air. On an early July morning we arrived at Vienna Schwechat airport, from where an Austrian Airlines jet was about to take us to Stockholm Arlanda. A potpourri of older liveries could be found on the airfield.




We took a seat inside a - for the relatively long flight - rather narrow Fokker 100, the climb already provided some wonderful views: first Vienna's central marshalling yard Kledering. In the upper right-hand corner you can find the arrival group, then the main hump, the large sorting group and the departure tracks to the lower left.




A closer look at the sorting tracks: To the lower right you can spot the so called locomotive harp already featuring some Taurus class electrics at that time. Along the upper left edge Vienna central cemetery is starting, below it the airport Schnellbahn line S7 with a class 4020 EMU.




The main view of Vienna: Arsenal in the lower right corner, to the left above it the inconspicuous Southern/Eastern station can be spotted, also history for several years now with the new Vienna main station replacing it. Above it Belvedere castle and the city centre. The upper edge is concluded by Kahlenberg left and Bisamberg right of the Danube.




We continue to Matzleinsdorf freight yard, recently it has been transformed to Matzleinsdorf depot for the new main station, also called "Supermatz". Gürtel ring road is traversing the image diagonally, in the upper left corner you can spot the former Stadtbahn bridge across Wien river, now used by subway line U6. Line U4 is following the Wien river valley along the upper edge of the photo.




At Hetzendorf - the station can be found below to the left - works on the Lainz Tunnel connecting the Southern and Western Railways had already progressed near the junction of the Southern and old connecting railways.




From Schönbrunn castle with Gloriette hill below the view wanders to the Western Railway Station stabling yards.




Next we turned north-north-east, in the gleaming backlight you can discern Greifenstein Danube hydraulic power station.




After an hour flight time across the Czech Republic and Poland we left the Polish Baltic Sea coast behind us.




Further 45 minutes later the first skerries came into view.




The islands became larger...




... until suddenly this ingenious panorama of today's destination opened up through a break in the clouds! That's what you call instant-city map.
You can see Gamla stan district, situated on the old city island Stadsholmen. The train in view is a subway (or rather tunnelbana, short t-bana), the mainline crosses Södra Järnvägsbron ("southern railroad bridge") below. So called Sammanbindningsbanan is leading through Stockholms centralstation and the center - so, we have flown from one connecting railway to the other. In the upper left corner the Royal Palace can be clearly seen, to the right inner city square Stortorget. Remember the orange house at the square with awnings in front...




We also gained views at the countryside as Arlanda airport is located 22 miles north of the city center.




10 minutes after traversing the city we stood at the gate.




A view back at our Fokker, I won't miss it. The jetways clearly had been designed to mimic the wooden farmhouses of the surroundings, but does it compensate the damage to the environment?




We descended into the bowels of the airport cut out of solid granite, lurking in the darkness was a 125 mph fast beast called Arlanda Express.




For that one time we did not choose the train but to my disgrace took one of the Flygbussarna into the city.




Around eleven we had reached the central station and walked with luggage in tow to our hotel situated to the north near t-bana station Odenplan. An Arlanda Express was on its way from the other terminal of the line.




After an hour we had refreshed ourselves and started the city walk at the station. Delayed Connex-overnight train 93 from Narvik and Lulea was just arriving, two former "Svenska Orientexpressen"-coaches were part of the consist - One moment, you will think, what's this guy trying to pull off? Start another Orient-Express series? No, don't worry, not at the moment... but who knows! :0)




Stabled vehicles at the northern end of the station - the structure above is not the station hall, but the World Trade Center.




Our regular class for the first part of the series - the Rc! :-)




Stockholm C itself is partly covered by concrete, a class X2000 highspeed train was just departing.




Even under open skies the platforms did not look much more appealing, despite the waiting X2000.




However, inside the old hall had been beautifully restored, a nice space to wait in. While others were purchasing the reservations for Sweden, I took a look around. Analogous to the current event at that time the Soccer Euro Championship in Portugal took place, the results were being presented in an eye-catching fashion...




Modern, African-inspired art.




Stockholm commuter rail was operated by private company Citypendeln at the time, in 2005 Stockholmstag took over, the EMUs are provided by city traffic operator Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (SL). Three lines are leading through the city center, here line J36 Märsta – Södertälje. Class X1 still were in traffic until put out of service 2006 - 2011.
More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_commuter_rail




The old station hall can only be captured separately from the tracks.




Reservations had been bought, we started our city tour. On the Norra Järnvägsbron (you guessed it - "northern railroad bridge") we were met by SJ X52-3 3282.




From the other direction came X1 3087 on a J36 service to Västerhaninge.




From this perspective you could catch a glimpse of the station building. The 1980s generation of EMUs, class X10, passed by southbound.




We left the railroad behind us and entered Gamla stan. More about Stockholm's old city center: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamla_stan




Next we visited the Royal Palace and stopped along the way for a bite to eat, then continued to Stortorget.
Did you remember the house from the air? Voilà! ;-)




Gamla stan offers lovely old streets.




Although Stockholm is hillier than you might presume, this was the only mountain in the vicinity.




One of my favorite Stockholm photos.




The advantage of a city center island is the opportunity to get out and catch some fresh air. We used the break and called NSB - soon we had booked all reservations, they could be collected at the first Norwegian station on our route.
Skeppsbrokajen ("Ship’s Bridge Quay") forms the eastern shore of the island providing views of other Stockholm districts, like Södermalm with the Viking Line terminal and further docks for larger ships.




A ferry in front of Danvikshem - a retirement home - in Nacka, a community south of the center. Amazing, what you can find out nowadays via the Interweb... ;-)




Af Chapman, a 1887-88 built full-rigged ship - nowadays serving as a youth hostel -, is moored to Skeppsholmen island. Today's M/S Teaterskeppet had been built in 1959 and had served as fishing vessel in front of the Faröe Islands for two decades.




"Fear God! Honour the King!" - the entrance to Tyska Kyrkan ("German Church"), which was derived from a guild hall in the Hanseatic era. German merchants visited it during their stays in Stockholm.














There?




There?? Yes, there!!!




A colorful cow and a Viking ship - no, the last scenes have not been taken from Monty Python's Flying Circussss... ;-)




A cheer for the ScanRail-tour!









Past Riksdag (parliament) we return to dry land in Norrmalm and look down the busy pedestrian zone along Drottniggatan.




View from the Riksdag: X2000 538 reached Stockholm C after 5 hours travel from Copenhagen at 17:40 across the Norra Järnvägsbron in wonderful atmosphere. A SAS BAe 146 jet was also just approaching Arlanda, like us in the morning.




A combination of classes X10 and X1 was following, Norstedtshuset in the background.




We conclude our walk on Sergels Torg in front of T-Centralen subway station, it had been a long day after all.


Next time we will visit Djurgarden island, including heritage streetcars. :-)