Inlandsbanan: Train romance in Sweden with the Inland Line
By John Sempill | Photos: Järnvägsmuseet
Travelling through Sweden’s inland on trains from the past is enough to entice anyone with the slightest travel bug. You might even describe it as train romance at its finest.
To start with, Inlandsbanan (meaning the Inland Line) is a railroad stretching from Kristinehamn in the south all the way up to Gällivare in the north. This stretch covering roughly 1 300 kilometres, 800 miles, takes you through Europe’s last wilderness and most vast lake archipelago. “We are most well-known for our summer traffic,” communications and marketing manager Therese Fanqvist explains. “We offer several ways to travel: either by booking a package trip including hotels and activities, or by putting together a trip as you wish, by purchasing tickets for different stretches or with the Inlandsbanan Card.”
You’ll be travelling in style in retro railbuses from the late 1970s, experiencing a more remote side of Sweden. Picturesque views of water towers, old station buildings and flagman cabins abound, and are topped off by midnight sun, the polar circle and the fabulous landscapes of Laponia.
As we slowly shift towards the autumn, Inlandsbanan offers a new tour – the Wilderness Train. In a collaboration with the Railway Museum in Gävle, passengers travel in first-class carriages from the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s. This is an eight-day journey taking travellers from Stockholm via Inlandsbanan to Kiruna, stopping by Umeå and heading back to the capitol via the coastal railway. This includes seven hotel nights along the way, with breakfast, lunch and dinner, bag transfer and a tour guide throughout. “The train has an authentic restaurant carriage, a bar, and all the food is cooked and prepared onboard,” Fanqvist says.
Scandinavian railway adventures
If you’re looking for an even bigger adventure, you might consider the trip Trains, Trains and More Trains (we can hear TikTok sensation Francoise Bourgeois cheering from here). This journey will take you through Sweden and Norway, passing lakes, mountains, fjords and national parks. “This journey covers six different railways, giving you plenty of time to see and enjoy Scandinavia,” Fanqvist continues. “This is slow travel in its essence. If that’s what you want to experience, this is for you.”
Together with other wanderlust seeking passengers, you’ll experience an unforgettable journey through Sweden’s mythical landscapes. The summer months include stretches and travel packages along Inlandsbanan, which is their main attraction, with special travel packages like Wilderness train covering the schedule the rest of the year.
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