A BRIEF SWEDISH RAILWAYS OVERVIEW


1798
The first known aboveground railway was built between the mines and harbour in Höganäs. The rails were made of wood, later the top was reinforced with flat iron, and the cars pulled by horses.
1845
The first royal permit to build a public railway issued, but due to lack of money never used.
During the middle of the 1800's horsedrawn railways to connect ferries on lakes became common, mostly to get ore or wood products to harbours.
1849
The first public transport railway built between the lake Fryken and the river Klarälven, a distance of 8 km. Rails of iron, to begin with the cars were pulled by horses. A steam engine (the second to be built in Sweden) put in service in 1856. The line abandoned in 1871.
1853
The first steam engine built in Sweden, intended for Norberg's railway, is built by Munktell's.
1855
Munktell's build the second Swedish steam engine, Fryckstad, the oldest that is preserved.
Coaches for SJ are ordered from Germany, 1:st and 2:nd class only, as well as three types of freight cars: Boxcars, open grain cars and open lumber cars.
1856
The first railways intended for steam locomotives from the beginning inaugurated: Írebro-Nora, 30 km; (private), Gothenburg-Jonsered, 10 km and Malmo-Lund 15 km (both state owned). Köping-Hults railway and Norberg's railway were also partly finished in 1856.
For the state owned lines six 1B locos with 2-axle tenders, purchased from England, designated class B. 45 more purchased 1856-73, both imported and locally built.
Most steam locomotives purchased from England, but during the 1860's other Swedish companies start building them. About 10 Swedish companies have built steamers in significant numbers.
1857
The first coaches replaces freight cars for 3:rd class service.
1860
The first railway station in Stockholm finished.
1862
The first of the five state owned mainlines which were decided on in 1954, the West mainline, Stockholm-Gothenburg, 600 km, opened. Travel time 14 hours. Smaller railways were supposed to be privately or regionally owned. These are the other mainlines: 32 1A1 express trains locos with 2-axle tenders purchased, some from England, some locally built.
SJ builds coaches in Sweden, but has to continue importing for 15 more years.
Freight cars are built in Sweden: livestock, ore, coal and lime. Chassis are mostly wood.
1863
The first purpose built freight engines purchased. 14 + 51 engines of type C designated purchased from 1863-74.
1864
Heating of 1:st class coaches with hot sand introduced.
1871
Steam heat in use.
The connection through Stockholm built.
1872
The first 1:st and 2:nd class coaches in night train service get toilets.
1874
SJ starts designing steam locos. Some built in Germany, from 1876 also in Sweden.
1877
4-axle bogie coaches imported from Denmark. It's only 8.4 m long, which isn't much more than the 2-axle coaches.
1879
For the first time, clocks all over Sweden show the same time.
SJ purchases a private railway for the first time.
Refrigerated cars introduced.
1882
A north state mainline Storvik-Ange-Storlien finished.
1883
Vacuum brakes introduced on passenger trains.
1884
An English company builds the iron ore line in the north from Gällivare to Lulea.
SJ gets their first freight cars with all iron chassis.
1886
Sleepers for 1:st and 2:nd class introduced.
1890
The first electric railway is used. It's a 750 m industrial line in Boxholm.
1891
Bogie coaches built in Sweden. They are 16.6 m long.
The English-built ore line from Gällivare to the harbour in Luleň purchased by the State Railways.
The first electric engine is built by Asea, for a 3 km industrial line connecting to the mainline at Katrineholm. It's a very small two-axle engine.
1892
The first train ferry connection started Helsingborg- Helsing°r. Cars beeing built to the Danish-German standard for international traffic.
1894
The railway line Stockholm-Boden finished. For defence reasons it doesn't follow the coast were the towns are. The state later builds branches to most of them.
1895
Djursholmsbanan, a commuter railway outside Stockholm becomes the first public transport electric railway in Sweden.
Train ferries Malmö-Copenhagen.
1897
Restaurant cars introduced Uppsala-Gävle. Later the State Railways get them too.
1899
Demand for engines increases so much that neither Swedish nor European companies can fulfill it and some has be imported from USA. These becomes the first compounds used by SJ.
Since then most engines are built in Sweden.
1902
The ore railway Gällivare-Riksgränsen-Narvik is finished.
Stronger ore cars which load 35 tons are purchased.
1905-07
SJ trials small electric engines near Stockholm. Voltages between 5 kV and 20 kV and frequencies between 15 Hz and 25 Hz are used.
1909
Train ferries Trelleborg-Sassnitz
1910
A diesel-electric railcar built by ASEA and Atlas Diesel tested by the State Railways.
1915
The State Railways open their first electric stretch between Kiruna and Riksgränsen. 15 Hz and 16 kV is used.
The engines are 1'C+C1' of class O, and often used two for the heavy trains. Passenger engines are class P and 2'B2'.
1920
2 German electrics (E70) purchased. SJ standard types is class Pb for passenger service, 2B+B2, class Od for freight, D and Oe, 1'C+C1' for iron ore service.
1920-27
Air brakes introduced.
1923
16 2/3 Hz and 16 kV is adapted as a standard.
1924
Electrical heating of coaches starting to be used.
1925
A single type electric 1'C1' is found to be sufficient for all types of services as class Ds for express train and as Dg with different gearing for freight train. Derivatives of this type continues to be built until 1971.
1926
Stockholm-Gothenburg electrified.
1927
The first battery powered switchers enters service.
1929
Steel body coaches.
1933
Stockholm-Malmö electrified.
1937
Inlandsbanan finished.
1938
The Swedish railways are at their largest with a total lenght of 16900 km.
1939
Parliament decides to natinalize private railways. The process takes about 3 decades, with small ones purchased first and the larger ones operated under their own identities into the 1980's.
Of about 17400 km railways built, the state has built about 31%, all standard gauge. Some narrow gauge lines were converted to standard gauge after SJ purchased them, but SJ operated significant portions of 891 (3 foot) and 1067 (3 foot 6 inches foot) mm railways.
1942
Trelleborg-Riksgränsen (2022 km) electrified.
Faster express trains are needed, and the class F, 1'Do1' enters service with a top speed of 135 km/h.
1943-53
The last classes of steam engines are delivered, 12 narrow gauge engines 1943-50, 10 heavy freight engines in 1947 and 20 short haul passenger engines in 1952-53.
1944
Class M, CoCo, a new class of powerful freight engines enters service.
1946
Alvesta-Eslöv gets a maximum permitted speed of 120 km/h.
1949
The State Railways purchase two large 3-axle diesels from England.
1955
Electric Bo'Bo' express engines used on Stockholm- Gothenburg, travel time 4 hours.
1968
The Swedish railways have a total length of 12800 km.
1972
The last steam engine in regular service on the State Railways retired.
Several hundred steam engines put in reserve storage for the next 20 years and finally declared redundant in 1992, whereupon they were scrapped and sold off.
1992
The Swedish railways have a total lenght of 9864 km.
[Many dates and facts from a publications by the Swedish Railways Museum]