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Roslagsbanan (Roslag Railway)
Stockholm commuter rail symbol.svg
A train arrives at Viggbyholm on Roslagsbanan
Type Commuter rail
Locale Stockholm County, Sweden
Termini Stockholm East
Daily ridership 45,000 per workday (2012)[1]
Opened 1885
Owner Storstockholms Lokaltrafik
Operator(s) Arriva
Rolling stock SL X10p
Line length 65 km (40.39 mi)
Number of tracks 1 or 2
Track gauge 891 mm (2 ft 11 332 in) Swedish three foot
Electrification 1500 V DC
Operating speed 80 km/h (50 mph)

Roslagsbanan is a 891 mm (2 ft 11 332 in) (three Swedish feet) narrow gauge urban railway system in Roslagen, Stockholm County, Sweden. Its combined route length is 65 kilometres (40 miles) and there are 38 stations.

The line starts in Stockholm at Stockholm East Station (Stockholms östra station, Stockholm Ö). It goes north and splits into three branch lines at the junction stations Djursholms Ösby and Roslags Näsby; the three branches terminate at Näsbypark, Österskär and Kårsta.

It is double track between Stockholm and Viggbyholm and between Rydbo and Åkersberga. The rest is single track, but the line to Vallentuna was being doubled in 2012 and Rydbo-Åkers Runö in 2013. There are passing loops at some stations on the single track sections: at Altorp, Hägernäs, Österskär, Visinge, Täby kyrkby, Ormsta, Lindholmen and Kårsta.

Ownership and present use[edit]

Stockholm Ö in winter

The railway, owned by the Stockholm County Council through the public transport company Storstockholms Lokaltrafik (SL), is not part of the nationally owned network. It is the only narrow gauge railway in Sweden still in use for commercial traffic.

Roslagsbanan is part of the Stockholm public transport system. It is operated under contract by Arriva Sverige from 7 January 2013.[2] Arriva Sverige took over from previous contracted company Roslagståg AB, which was a joint venture by the Danish DSB and Tågkompaniet.

Despite its age and limited capacity it is one of the most used railways in Sweden. Since the late 1980s, the railway has constantly but slowly been upgraded to a modern standard with modernised rolling stock, higher platforms and straighter tracks allowing increased speed.

There are 15 departures from Stockholm East in the evening rush hour, with a total ridership of 42,000 journeys per day.


Roslagsbanan map.jpg
Geographically accurate system map
Locale Stockholm County, Sweden
Dates of operation 1885[3]–present
Track gauge 891 mm (2 ft 11 332 in) Swedish three foot[4]
Electrification yes, 1500 V DC
Length 65 km or 40.4 mi[5]
Headquarters Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm commuter rail logo

The stations along Roslagsbanan are marked with a J symbol, which stands for the generic term järnvägsstation ("railway station") and is similar to the T symbol used by the Stockholm underground railway stations (tunnelbanestation) and the S used for tram stops (spårvägshållplats).

Roslagsbanan is now used by Storstockholms lokaltrafik (SL) for commuter transport. The present network comprises most of the southern part of what was once a much bigger network, made up of privately owned railways all over Roslagen, connecting Stockholm and Uppsala with the countryside and used for passenger and freight trains. For more information on this, see the history section below.

Line Route Length Stations Notes
27 Stockholm East StationDjursholms ÖsbyRoslags NäsbyVallentunaLindholmenKårsta 41.5 km (25.8 mi) 23 Opened 1885
28 Stockholm East StationDjursholms ÖsbyRoslags NäsbyÅkersbergaÖsterskär 29.5 km (18.3 mi) 20 Opened 1901 to Åkersberga, 1906 to Österskär
29 Stockholm East StationDjursholms Ösby - Lahäll - Näsbypark 11.5 km (7.1 mi) 12 Opened 1928 to Lahäll and 1937 to Näsbypark
Total 65 km (40 mi) 39

The line numbers are not displayed on the trains; only the name of the destination is displayed.

In the timetables of Samtrafiken, the lines do not have the numbers as stated above, but the numbers 121 for the line to Kårsta, 122 for the line to Österskär and 123 for the line to Näsbypark.

Rolling stock[edit]

X10p at Stockholm East Station with UBp and UBxp
56 RimboSL bus to/from Danderyds Sjukhus, Norrtälje, Uppsala 1884-1981
50 1885-1981
48 Sparren 1885-1981
41.7 KårstaL27 SL bus to/from Söderhalls Trafikplats 1885-
38.5 Ekskogen 1885-
34.6 Frösunda 1885-
28.8 Lindholmen 1885-
25.5 Molnby 1885-
24.1 Ormsta
22.7 VallentunaSL bus to/from Upplands Väsby, Stora Karby 1885-
21.5 Bällsta
19.9 Kragstalund 1993-
19.0 Byle 1910-1993
18.8 Täby kyrkby(Täby) 1885-
14.2 Visinge 1986-
13.2 Ensta 1911-
11.9 Tibble
29.4 ÖsterskärL28 1906-
28.6 Tunagård 1919-
27.2 ÅkersbergaSL bus to/from Ljusterö, Norrtälje, Kista 1901-
Åker's Canal
25.5 Åkers Runö(Runö) 1901-
23.2 Täljö 1928-
20.0 RydboSL bus to/from Arninge 1901-
15.6 Hägernäs
14.3 Viggbyholm 1907-
13.1 GaloppfältetSL bus to/from Upplands Väsby, Sollentuna, Arninge (Åkerby) 1913-
12.5 Täby centrumSL bus to/from Upplands Väsby, Sollentuna, Arninge (Grindtorp) 1968-
11.0 Roslags NäsbyL27/28 1885-
9.9 Enebyberg 1909-
8.3 Djursholms Ekeby 1885-
7.4 Bråvallavägen
11.7 NäsbyparkL29 1937-
11.0 Näsby allé 1937-
10.2 Lahäll 1928-
8.5 Altorp 1910-
7.8 Östberga 1910-
7.2 Vendevägen(Parkvägen) 1910-
12.9 Svalnäs 1912-1933
12.1 Eddavägen 1901-1976
10.7 Vikingavägen 1901-1976
9.9 Djursholms Framnäsviken 1890-1976
9.5 Germania 1890-1976
8.7 Restauranten 1890-1976
8.3 Djursholms Sveavägen 1890-1976
7.5 Bragevägen 1890-1976
6.7 Djursholms ÖsbySL bus to/from Djursholm, Bromma 1890-
5.6 MörbyL27/28/29 Danderyds sjukhus metro stationDanderyds sjukhus Danderyds sjukhus SL bus terminal 1906-
4.6 StocksundSL bus to/from Djursholm 1996-
Långängen 1911-1966
Stockby 1911-1966
4.5 Stocksund 1885-1996
Sikrenotunneln(120 m) 1996-
Stocksundet(210 m)
Norrtäljevägen(390 m)
3.5 Ålkistan 1885-1923
3.0 Freskati 1885-2009
2.5 UniversitetetUniversitetet metro stationUniversitetet 2010-
1.7 Universitetet(Experimentalfältet) -2009
Transporter wagon to normal gauge, Albano 1885-1996
0.0 Stockholm ÖL27/28/29 Tekniska högskolan metro stationTekn. högskolan SL bus 1885-
-1 Engelbrektsplan 1895-1960

Current rolling stock[edit]

The present train sets were manufactured by ABB Railcar (nowadays Bombardier) and delivered in 1988–1995. The train sets are owned by SL, but maintained and operated by Roslagståg.

The trains are basically set together of three different vehicles:

  • Motor coach X10p Number of vehicles: 35, Seating capacity: 72, Length: 19.9 metres, Weight: 27.7 tonnes, Power rating: 400 kW (540 hp), Maximum speed: 80 km/h (50 mph)
  • Manoeuvre carriage UBxp Number of vehicles: 34, Seating Capacity: 76, Length: 19.9 metres (65 ft 3 in), Weight: 16.3 tonnes (16 long tons; 18 short tons)
  • Bogie carriage UBp Number of vehicles: 32, Seating Capacity: 80, Length: 19.9 metres (65 ft 3 in), Weight: 16 tonnes (15.7 long tons; 17.6 short tons)[9]

There are some problems with the rolling stock, the carriages have very poor wheelchair accessibility due to narrow doors and stairs, this is also problematic for luggage and prams. The trains are also very noisy, especially considering the railway mostly goes through built up suburban areas.

Because of this SL began the process of finding a company from which to order modern trains to meet the rising demand for departures on Roslagsbanan in 2010. New trains are scheduled to be delivered in 2014.


Works are going on to beat congestion and intensify the traffic on the biggest lines serving the suburbs Täby and Vallentuna. New double track sections are built. The plan is to have double track to Åkersberga and to Vallentuna in 2014. There are plans to upgrade the current maximum speed of 80 to 120 km/h (50 to 75 mph). New trains are needed for the traffic increase which are expected to be delivered in 2014. Along with the new trains, the old X10p already in service will be repaired and modified into a more modern look.

A feasibility study into extending Roslagsbanan to Arlanda Airport is currently under way, in order to better connect the northern suburbs to the airport.[10]

Current pictures[edit]


The present Roslagsbanan was once just the southern part of a large narrow gauge system throughout Roslagen and east Uppland, connecting Stockholm and Uppsala with ports, smaller towns and parts of the countryside and used for both freight and passenger transport.

In 1885 the line from Stockholm East Station (Stockholm) to Rimbo was opened, what is now the longest branch of Roslagsbanan. It was originally built and operated by the private enterprise Stockholm-Rimbo Järnväg (SRJ). In 1909 SRJ changed its name to Stockholm–Roslagens Järnvägar (with the same abbreviation) following the take-over of companies running adjacent lines.

Roslagsbanan is one of the oldest electrified railway lines for public transport in Europe: The first Stockholm–Djursholm suburban part, Djursholmsbanan, was electrified in 1892.[5] and this line was at the time drawn further into the centre of Stockholm on a tram track, ending at Engelbrektsplan next to Humlegården, allowing for a short walk to the city centre or to inner city tram lines and buses.

In the beginning of the 20th century and well into the 1950s, Djursholms Ösby, a branch station on Roslagsbanan, was one of the busiest railway stations in Sweden with trains stopping every three minutes with three different branches dividing from there, transporting people and goods.

In the years following World War II, more and more of Swedish railways were nationalised through Statens Järnvägar (SJ), a fate also shared by Roslagsbanan. In 1969 the Stockholm Landsting took control over the network Stockholm-Rimbo, which is now referred to as 'Roslagsbanan', from SJ, having since then used it for passenger traffic only, with the public transport company SL managing the railway.

In 1960 the Djursholmsbanan tracks to Engelbrektsplan were closed and these trains also terminated at the East Station. Instead, passengers coming to Stockholm East have an interchange connection to the Stockholm metro through the adjacent Tekniska högskolan metro station since 1973. One of the two Djursholm branches (Eddavägslinjen) was closed by SL in 1976.[11]

When SL took over the railway it had many problems. It was narrow gauge and not connected to the rest of the rail network in any way, it was very slow, buses were generally faster, especially to the areas near the end of line, and it was mostly single-track and had low capacity. Because of this there was a strong political interest to close the railway and replace it with buses and a metro line to Täby. The public opinion was much against this and after a referendum in 1980 the Landsting decided to save Roslagsbanan and invest in new trains and modernize the infrastructure and formed a new company SLJ to run Roslagsbanan. Despite this the northernmost part, Kårsta - Rimbo was closed in 1981, and the plan was to close the part Lindholmen - Kårsta as well, but it was temporarily kept due to the poor roads in the area which would be problematic for bus transport. Even though the roads have been improved the line to Kårsta is still in use today and there are currently no plans to close it. In January 2010 the station "Frescati" was closed to avoid congestion and the station "Universitetet" was moved 500 metres (550 yards) north to better serve Stockholm University.

Older trains[edit]

The trains which were still in use until the early 1990s were partly vehicles as old as from the beginning of the century. Some of these old brown and wooden wagons have been saved, the oldest ones being from 1914. They are owned by Spårvägsmuseet (Stockholm Tramway Museum) and are managed by Roslagsbanans Veterantågsförening (RBV) ("the Veteran Train Club for Roslagsbanan") and can be chartered for events.

Some old trains have also been sold to other Swedish narrow gauge railways, which are now only heritage railways, where they are used for tourists.

Pictures of formerly used parts[edit]

Current networks previously connected to Roslagsbanan[edit]

Some of the northern parts of the once bigger network are still in use, but these are not formally called Roslagsbanan. These two parts are

Closed parts of Roslagsbanan (south of Rimbo)[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]