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Born in Stockholm (Sweden), now live in Sapporo (Japan). Hold a Ph.D. in computer science and work with computers during the days, perform magic in a bar during the nights (and weekends, for kids). Also used to teach historical fencing back in Sweden.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Stockholm commuter trains, as unreliable as I remembered

Subway, usually better than the commuter trains (not saying much).
Today I was supposed to meet my professor at his hotel and another Swedish colleague was also to meet up there. I am staying outside the city center and have to take the commuter trains into town. When I lived here before, the trains were very unreliable, especially during winter.

Just to be on the safe side I got out early, so even if the train I planned on taking would be late or even canceled, I could take the next train and still make it with time to spare. If they canceled both trains, I would be a little late, but almost in time, and what are the odds of that happening?

Apparently, the odds are pretty good. When I got to the station the board with train information announced that the train that should have left about an hour before I got there was coming to the station "soon". So they were about an hour behind schedule in the opposite direction, which meant no trains going there and then coming back in the direction I wanted to go... I also saw a huge mass of commuters, so I may not even get on the train if any showed up. So I gave up and called my dad to drive me to the subway (23 minutes away) instead.

The subway is more reliable, and I actually got to the hotel in time. On my way there, my colleague called me and explained that the commuter trains were having the normal problems, so despite him having had a 60 minute extra margin when starting, he would be at least 20 minutes late...

In Japan, trains are only late when there are natural disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, or possibly snowstorms. And I have never seen a train that late even then :-)

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