Running with IOREs on Malmbana in the Swedish and Norwegian North
By John McKey, Pictures by John McKey, Nick Slocombe, Deane Motis, Dvid Gubler and Hannu Peltola
Running with IOREs, Part 3 - Torneträsk Station and the Mountains
The previous parts handled starting the journey for the Swedish ore pellets on the 120 metric ton net carrying ore cars running north towards Narvik in Norway. The second part was about train making the easy part of the journey sliding through the Tundra and Taiga. We have now arrived to the foothills of the bigger mountains and the train will climb here first severe grades while at the same time following the ever more curvatous paths of the Malmbana. The IOREs get much awaited heavy duty work just before the Torneträsk station and feed back energy to the electrical networks (so the dynamic braking energy will not be wasted) coming down the slope to the center of the Torneträsk station.
The views offered here for the train personnel, passengers and automobilists alike turn quite different from the foothills once you cross the first ridge. The next 70 kilometers we will be following the edge of the Torneträsk lake.
Here the IORE units 122 and 108 are taking the beginning of the double S-curves of the Torneträsk station. Both Hannu and I have just climbed through over 1 meter / 3 feet of wet snow in ditch to get to a decent picture taking spot. The engines are in their regenerative mode feeding the electricity to networks while keeping the trains speed steady 20 - 30 mph. The powerful IORE electric motors have no trouble providing this effect even with the almost 70 car long heavy ore train following. Of course much is also left to the MTAB locomotive's engineer, who in case of this train really seemed to know both features of the ore train and every detail of the landscape.
Following the path by the tall peaks of the mountains at Torneträsk...
...I think I'll just let the pictures do the story telling here, lean back and enjoy the views!
The heavy ore train is sliding effortlessly looking past us.
And here is the closing, the same as opening: the magnificent views across the Torneträsk lake from the trains watching spot!