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Lidingöbanan, the Lidingö tramway (in correct English)
Just on this curve lay the Herserud lift. Both Lidingö bridges are seen in the background.
A Lidingö train, with its interior design from the early 1950s, looking towards Käppala station. The Käppala power station’s 149.5 meter high chimney can be seen on the left in the background.
A Lidingö train leaves the passing track at Högberga station to enter the single track section to Kottla and Skärsätra. The station building is the original.
Södra Lidingöbanan, the South Lidingö railway between Ropsten and Gåshaga jetty is one of greater Stockholm’s older rail lines. It was opened in 1914, and much remains the same today. (Between 1907 and 1971 there was also a North Lidingöbanan between Ropsten and Kyrkviken, see link).
When the residential areas of South Lidingö were being built at the beginning of the previous century the future tramway was one of the brokers’ sales pitches. One terminus, that at Herserud, was placed beside a rock wall where a lift was built in 1911 to take passengers up to their newly-built houses. The Herserud lift was in operation until 1948.
When the Aga factories were built in first decade of the 20th century, AGA’s founder Gustav Dalén was one of those who strongly pushed for getting the Lidingö railway completed. He wanted his factory workers to be able to get to work more easily.
On Thursday, January 29th, 1914, the first train ran between Herserud and Skärsätra stations. At that time passengers had to use the steam ferry to cross to/from Ropsten (and Stockholm itself). The fixed link, the “Old Lidingö Bridge”, was not inaugurated until 1925.
A trip along Lidingöbanan today is almost like recalling olden times. Several stations look just as they always have done. Most trains still running today were built in the 1950s, and thus are Sweden’s oldest trams in regular service. Although they were modernised in the 1990s, the noise level in the vehicles is still high; also, they are too narrow, and it is not always easy to fit two passengers onto one bench seat. Much of the line is of single track, the only double track being that between Baggeby and AGA. At most stops there are however passing places where trains can meet.
When the first Lidingö bridge was completed in 1925, it became possible to ride the tram directly over the bridge and onwards to Sturegatan and Humlegården in central Stockholm. In 1967, when Sweden changed to right-hand traffic, the underground line to Ropsten was also opened and the Lidingö line was cut back to operate between Gåshaga and Ropsten only.
In 2001, a 450 meter extension was built to the newly constructed Gåshaga jetty, enabling direct transfer to the Waxholm Company boats which operate both to Stockholm and the archipelago.
The trains are manned by both driver and conductor, although you can no longer buy a ticket from the conductor. However, there vending machines at most stations. Since 2008 the Lidingö railway has been classified as a tramway.
Södra Lidingöbanan was until the 1970s a major freight operator too, inter alia, AGA and GINGER’s margarine factory in Gåshaga. Moreover, there was a major oil depot in Rasta served by a daily freight train. Freight traffic declined during the 1970s and ceased completely in 1982.
In October 2009 an agreement was reached between the township of Lidingö and SL, Stockholm’s transport operator, to renovate the track and to purchase new cars. Within a few years (2020?) the Lidingö line will also to be linked to “Tramway City”, when the connection from Ropsten to central parts of Stockholm is constructed.
SL’s estimated costs for the revamping of the Lidingö railway is at least SEK. 800 million. Lidingö city is to renovate the old Lidingö bridge and is buying one of the new tramcars, for a total of SEK.160 million. Work on the refurbishment has started in 2013 and is expected to be completed by 2014/2015. Lidingö city is also to build a new bridge for the Lidingöbanan. It will ready at 2020.
From the 21st of June 2013, during the Lidingöbanans refurbishment to 2014/2015, the traffic will be replaced by the two buses 21L and 21X.
Äta. Bo. Sevärdheter. Barn på ön. Resa till Lidingö. Fakta
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