Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Stockholm - Railway Central Station

Date of visit: 16th October 2015

The front facade of the Central Station was covered for minor refurbishment (can be seen in below photo). I was not able to take a good photo when arriving in the station on 16th October but the next morning while walking towards the city hall, we managed to snap below photo from the pedestrian bridge. But still, no one could have guessed that the station was actually existed there since 1871. It look so new which clearly show how good the State Railways has taken care off the building maintenance. We both felt like we were arriving at the Airport instead, not the train station. This one is rarely unique.

Stockholm Central Station is the largest railway station in Sweden, situated in the district of Norrmalm at Vasagatan/Central Plan. It was officially opened on 18th July 1871 and has over 200,000 visitors daily at present count, of which about 170,000 are travellers. In front of the central station stands a statue of Nils Ericson, an Engineer who was in-charge on the construction of the station. Friherre Nils Ericson, born in 1802, died in 1870 was a Swedish mechanical engineer. He became a prominent Swedish canal and railway builder.

This photo is not mine, it belong to

The station was built between 1867 and 1871 with Adolf W. Edelsvard as the design architect. Until 1925 the tracks led into the station but during a renovation that took place between 1925 till 1927, it were moved to the west. The former track hall was converted into a 119 meter long, 28 meter wide and 13 meter high waiting hall. During the renovation the station was extended to the south through the construction of the southern pavilion. That part of the station houses a conference facility. Next to the conference facility is the Royal waiting hall where the Royal Family shall waits before boarding when travelling by train.

In 1951 the fa├žade towards Vasagatan was changed and was given a more simplified look. In 1958 an underground passage to T-Centralen was opened. The station consists of two parts. The northern part, with platforms 1 to 7 northwards, constitutes a terminus station for the Ostkustbanan, Malarbanan and Arlandabanan railways. Platforms 1 and 2 are reserved for the Arlanda Express, which has its own platform on the same level as the trains' floor. Platform 3 is mostly used by Uppsalapendeln and platforms 4 to 7 are used for long distance and regional traffic and overnight traffic to the north.

Platforms 10 to 19 in the western part constitute a passing station for Vastra stambanan and local commuter trains. Platforms 10 to 12 are mostly used for long-distance and regional trains to the south, but can also be used for traffic to the north, while platforms 17 to 19 are mostly used for long-distance and regional trains to the north from where we arrived in the city on 16th October 2015. It can also be used for traffic to the south. Most of the trains turn back after the Stockholm Central Station, but some trains continue towards the north. We had to use lift due to our luggage and join sea of crowds arriving and departing from and to various platforms on the upper level where we encountered a semi sphere roof.

On the same level with the Northern Railway Square are service depots dedicated for a long distance and regional trains. Trains arriving from the south and turning back from the central station, after passengers continuing northwards have disembarked shall continue to the service depots where they are cleaned and have their supplies refilled. Then they continue back via platforms 10 to 12. Long-distance trains from platforms 4 to 8 are services in the same way near the Northern Railway Square.

As you can see, SJ logo is visible everywhere in the station clearly showing that the station is under the management of the SJ (formally SJ AB) company. SJ is a government-owned passenger train operator in Sweden. SJ was created in year  2000, out of the public transport division of Statens Jarnvagar, when the former government agency was divided into six separate government-owned limited companies. SJ's operations fall broadly into subsidised and unsubsidised services. The unsubsidised services was until 2011 monopoly and consist mainly of the high-speed train network. The subsidised trains are awarded through competitive bids. However, some trains fall in between these categories, since public transit agencies can pay SJ to allow transit pass holder’s access to SJ's trains.

While waiting for Anne to change few buck of Euros to Swedish Kronor for our 3 days 2 nights expenses in the city, I lingered and snapped more photos of the station before we went out to look for a cab. It gave me a kind of impressive image of what SJ has done to an internal facade that hardly noticeable as it was from the old building in the city. Really an amazing job, being coupled with all amenities and facilities offered at the station for the conveniences of its passengers, of which include a fresh grocer store. 

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