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 4 - Train Meeting at Kaisepakte Mountain
We are now running with IOREs 122 and 108 plus almost 8000 metric tons (by calculating the maximum weights that can be used on the cars for the time of pictures) of ore train following them. From the looks it seems like this kind of train still causes very little stress to the huge locomotives, but this can be deceiving. When accelerating you can tell from the sound of rails that forces are really pretty big. The train rolled fast past Torneträsk station, so it seemed possible to us that we would never see it again before Narvik by the sea. But to our positive surprise there it was again, running slowly where the mountains really start rising high and the hill base next to Torneträsk lake becomes increasingly narrow.
Our train is seen here near Kaisepakte station (the towering mountain next to it has the same name).
Here we witness the first train meeting on Saturday morning on the heavily trafficked Malmbanan. The SJ run SSRT owned Rc6 electric locomotive number 1332 is waiting for the ore train to pass.
The signal shows red for the regional passenger service. In some other countries you might call train running one way the whole day as "long distance service". Not here. The SJ operated passenger service stops at many small stations to board / unboard passengers. To the enjoyment of all railfans these trains also sound their horn whenever entering one of the snow sheds or tunnels. Both of these are numerous here, so even if you can't really see the train yet you have a pretty good idea where it is running.
And here comes the ore service through the wilderness!
Train meeting: passenger service gives way to the ore service! We see this happening this way often for unknown reasons. The ore freight might actually even stop before the station for several minutes to wait for the other train to enter the siding. MTAB heavy ore freights hardly ever seem to take sidings at all. Only also frequent intermodals and passenger services seem to be doing this.
Now, let's let the trains speak for themselves and you to lean back and enjoy the views!