Sweden disbands final strategic steam reserve locos

It’s hard to believe that 16 years into the 21st century, Sweden has disbanded its final Strategic Reserve, steam locos that were kept on standby in the event of war in Europe. Bob Sweet witnessed the removal of the final two locos from storage.

TRAVELLERS on Sweden’s rail network over the past 60 years can be forgiven for not taking a second glance at a large number of anonymous-looking corrugated sheds scattered on railway land in rural and often isolated communities throughout the centre and north of this sparsely populated country.

Incredible as it may seem after 45 years, No. 954 was steamed on June 16, and by evening had sufficient pressure for a celebratory whistle, being the final locomotive in the Strategic Steam Reserve. The fire was subsequently dropped because of injector problems.
Incredible as it may seem after 45 years, No. 954 was steamed on June 16, and by evening had sufficient pressure for a celebratory whistle, being the final locomotive in the Strategic Steam Reserve. The fire was subsequently dropped because of injector problems.

The locked sheds had rails into them, but had been disconnected from nearby main lines and displayed no evidence of their contents or the use to which they were being put.

In the early years of the Cold War, when the West feared a confrontation with the Soviet Bloc to the east, Sweden was, like the United Kingdom, in the process of withdrawing vast numbers of steam locomotives in the cause of modernising the railway system.

Read more in the August issue of The RM

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