To the Station! Swedish Hotspot; Luleå.

This northern town is a port city on the Gulf of Bothnia where iron ore from mines north of the Arctic Circle is trans-loaded to ships. There’s a traditional passenger station that serves sleeping car trains that originate here for Stockholm and points south; a coach yard and sidings.

Markku Pulkkinen, Matti Mäntyvaara, Asko Räsänen and I arrived in early afternoon. We had lunch in the station restaurant and observed the action.

The combination of low-level platforms, ground-level switching activities to make up trains, and conventional locomotive hauled consists made for some proper old-school railroading! And that’s just the way we like it. Only the Kiruna-Narvik service appeared to be provided by a modern wedge-shaped electric multiple unit.

X-T1 panoramic composite of the second Stockholm  sleeper at Luleå.
X-T1 panoramic composite of the second Stockholm sleeper at Luleå.
X-T1 photo.
X-T1 photo.
Luleå is old school; traditional station building with restaurant, low level platforms, plus loco-hauled sleeping car trains with long consists of bogie carriages. All good. Long may it last.
Luleå is old school; traditional station building with restaurant, low level platforms, plus loco-hauled sleeping car trains with long consists of bogie carriages. All good. Long may it last.
Lumix LX7 photo of a sleeping car.
Lumix LX7 photo of a sleeping car.
Since I my visit in 2002, the local passenger service has been 'improved'. (The improvement is the wedge-shaped EMU at right.)
Since my visit in 2002, the local passenger service has been ‘improved’. (The improvement is the wedge-shaped EMU at left.)
An empty iron train led by IORE electrics (the most powerful on the planet) rolls through the station on its way north.
An empty iron train led by IORE electrics (the most powerful on the planet) rolls through the station on its way north.

The low northern sun provided some great light for photographs, and I made the most of our visit working with my FujiFilm X-T1 and Lumix LX7 to make digital photos.

I was bemused when a young British girl complained to her father when he went to make a photo of the Rc6 electric on a sleeping car train, ‘Daddy, don’t do that! Why do you make a photo of the train?’ Surely this child needs to be sent to camp for re-education! I blame the internet and/or television.

A track-level view of a Stockholm sleeper at Luleå. My FujiFilm X-T1's flip down screen and heads-up display with level makes it easy to take low angle photos of trains.
A track-level view of a Stockholm sleeper at Luleå. My FujiFilm X-T1’s flip down screen and heads-up display with level makes it easy to take low angle photos of trains.
It's a long way from Luleå to Stockholm by train.
It’s a long way from Luleå to Stockholm by train.
A second empty ore train rolls through Luleå. These big modern Bombardier-built electrics replaced the old Dm3 siderodders, but I'll forgive them for that.
A second empty ore train rolls through Luleå. These big modern Bombardier-built electrics replaced the old Dm3 siderodders, but I’ll forgive them for that—they’re still pretty impressive!
An Rc6 works the coach yard as the empty ore train heads northward to beyond the Arctic Circle.
An Rc6 works the coach yard as the empty ore train heads northward to beyond the Arctic Circle.
Modern high-capacity ore wagons are a contrast with the old six-wheel jennies from a century ago.
Modern high-capacity ore wagons are a contrast with the old six-wheel jennies from a century ago.
One of the classics is on display near the station. Luleå respects its heritage.
One of the classics is on display near the station. Luleå respects its heritage.

Tracking the Light posts daily!