New Iron Ore Line Derailment: Cannot Rule Out Sabotage

Foto fra avsporingen på Malmbanen
Photo from the latest derailment on the Iron Ore Line. (Photo: the Swedish Traffic Administration)

Days after the opening of the Iron Ore Line, another iron ore train derailed on the railway line between Norway and Sweden in the North. Swedish police have initiated investigations of both incidents and do not rule out sabotage.

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On Saturday, an iron ore train derailed on the Iron Ore Line in Northern Sweden. The train was unladen and empty and was heading toward Narvik.

The derailment happened one week after the railway line reopened on February 20th. The Iron Ore Line had then been closed for two months after an extensive derailment in December.

The Swedish Traffic Administration is now inspecting the stretch where the recent derailment occurred. It writes that the derailment happened about six kilometers north of the previous derailment location in Vassijaure. 

In other words, the damages have occurred on railway facilities that were not part of the previous restoration work, explains Simon Sunna, Acting Head of the Northern Railway Unit in the Swedish Transport Administration. He adds that they have found damages to the rails, sleepers [substrate for railway tracks, ed. note], and overhead lines.

Suspects sabotage

In a press release, Swedish police said they have initiated a preliminary investigation into the incident. At the moment, the classification is sabotage.

"Initiating a preliminary investigation in similar incidents is a routine measure that enables more investigative measures," they write.

There are currently no suspects, and the police are looking at the incident from a broad perspective.

The police are also investigating the previous derailment that took place in December last year but specify that it is too early to say whether the two incidents are connected.

Assessment of the scope

"It is currently impossible to forecast when traffic can resume on the route in question. We must conduct a careful analysis and assessment of the scope", says Sunna in the Swedish Transport Administration.

The derailment impacts the Swedish mining company LKAB, which sends iron ore products by ore train to Narvik. Several ships in the harbor are now waiting for some ore from LKAB.

The Swedish Transport Administration does not disclose the reason for the derailment. There are no injuries after the incident.

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