The opening of traffic on the railway line between Kiruna and Narvik has been postponed numerous times since the middle of December. The concluding work on the Iron Ore Line is still affected by cold weather and large amounts of snow, and the Swedish Transport Administration is once again postponing the expected traffic resumption date.
The traffic on the Iron Ore Line did not resume yesterday as planned. That is reported by the Swedish Transport Administration in a press release.
A fully loaded iron ore train derailed mid-December on the railway line at Vassijaure in Northern Norway, near the Norwegian border. The derailment caused extensive damage to a 15-kilometer-long stretch.
For almost two months, the derailment has halted all train traffic on the railway stretch between Kiruna in Northern Sweden and Narvik in Northern Norway.
No new date
The Swedish Transport Administration first announced a possible resumption at the beginning of January. However, major repair work, cold weather, and a lot of snow have led to several postponements.
"We will not compromise on security, and we must have an approved railway facility when traffic resumes. The final parts of the restoration work have been affected by a lot of time spent clearing snow," says Simon Sunna, Acting Head of the Northern Railway Unit in the Swedish Transport Administration.
"We still want to report on as much as possible in this situation, which is why we now are informing that traffic sadly cannot be resumed on February 8th. At the time being, a few weather-sensitive details remain, and we, therefore, do not want to set an exact date for traffic resumption, but our absolute hope is that it will happen next week."
Affects mining company
The halt in train traffic towards Narvik affects the mining company LKAB, among others, which has iron ore products worth SEK billions on hold after the derailment.
LKAB's Press Officer, Anders Lindberg, said to High North News that the Iron Ore Line's capacity was already limited before the derailment, and it could take years before the company delivered all its products to the customers.
"These are volumes that correspond to approximately 400 fully loaded ore trains. We usually run ten ore trains a day between Kiruna and Narvik, and when the traffic starts, these will be used to transport the daily production," said Lindberg.