Solar curves stop traffic on the Malmbanan railway

Kiruna Several solar curves between Kopparåsen and Vassijaure have stopped traffic on the ore line between the mines in Kiruna and the harbour in Narvik since Friday.

The problems are related to the winter's train derailments, which stopped ore traffic for over two months. The new rails laid last winter had a lower laying temperature, so they are being extended in the warm weather. The Swedish Transport Administration is working on replacing the affected parts.

"Solar curves are a phenomenon that occurs during large temperature changes. We were aware of this risk in connection with the restoration work last winter and this is a consequence of doing it in winter climate. Through the control programme, we have carried out daily track position measurements and joint measurements to keep track of the rails," says Simon Sunna, section manager for railways at the Swedish Transport Administration.

At first, the Swedish Transport Administration estimated that traffic could start on Tuesday. Now they are aiming for traffic to start on Saturday.

"During the weekend's work on the section, we have discovered that the need to fill with new macadam has been greater than expected. Because of this, we are forced to postpone the start of traffic to ensure that the railway meets the stringent requirements we have," says Simon Sunna.

Lennart Håkansson