Today was the day when I will attempt to get back to Sweden.
After a few very nice days in Trondheim it was time to get back home. Trondheim is very beautiful but expensive, 250 SEK for a pizza is just to much.
I did not like the idea of the 200 km uphill to the Swedish border that is something like 900 meters higher up than Trondheim. I explored different options but there is not much.
What I had found was that it might be possible to go to Røros by bus or train. There were no guarantees that either would accept a bike, it’s completely up to the driver or conductor. My bike is not exactly small so I had my doubts about this.
I visited the bus and train stations, and interviewed the staff there, no-one could say that it would be possible. Also I heard rumors that the bus made 116 stops on the +3 hours ride.
Then I read some tourist information in the hotel and saw some information about a touristy train called "Nabotoget" - the neighbor train. This train apparently had been running, been replaced by bus, but now back to being a train again.
The Nabotoget would bring me just across the Swedish border at Storlien, from there I had to change to Norrtåg with destination Östersund and Sundsvall. This sounded like a very good proposal, even just getting to Storlien would save me from the uphill to the border.
Getting to Östersund or Sundsvall would be amazing, this sounded way to good to be true. But I decided to give it a try anyways. Worst case I still had the bus or train to Røros later in the morning.
So come Monday morning I woke up really early, packed my bike and went to the station. When I arrived there the train was already there, great I thought, I can board now and go to sleep. But the train starts in Heimdal just south of Trondheim and I was not allowed to ride the empty train to Heimdal.
So I had to wait in Trondheim for the train to ride to Heimdal and back, when the train came back there were hundreds of senior citizens, on holiday, with huge bags waiting with me. Obviously they had to board the train before me and place their bags where the bikes go.
I had to stand up and hold my bike in the corridor for the whole journey, when we arrived in Storlien the same people tried to get their bags and get of before me. My bike was to big for that so they had to wait, so they learned the principle of First In Last Out.
The best advice I can give on taking this train, go to Heimdal by bike and board the train there, then you and your bike will be safely stored on the train when arriving in Trondheim.
Once in Storlien the nice Norrtåget was waiting for us, I offloaded my bags and bike, some people started to board while I was walking down the stairs. I told them in a very direct and un-polite way what they needed to do.
Bags on the bike I rolled over the platform and found the 4 bike hangers. Normally all of these contraptions are to small/low for my bike, but these actually worked. The risk of snapping one or more spokes in the front wheel is very big as the bike swings when the train brakes.
The staff on the Swedish train were by far more friendly and service minded, they helped everybody to get their stuff loaded in the train in a safe way. It was a long ride to Sundsvall.
I had no plan after Sundsvall, I knew there were the X-tåget to Gävle but had no time table. Also the X-tåget is limited to 2 bikes per train. I knew I could bike back from Sundsvall, it’s just 3-4 days along the coast.
When I arrived in Sundsvall, there was a X-tåget parked at the station. I formed a queue at the door where bikes go. The bike places are not possible to reserve, if the train already has 2 bikes you will have to take the next train. After waiting for a long time I could finally board and ride to Gävle. There are works on the rail, so this was the first train this day that went all the way to Gävle.
Once in Gävle I found a Upptåget waiting for me, same drill here, only 2 bike places so I boarded quickly. I thought of spending the night in Gävle and bike back from there, just to cover the part I had cheated on my way north. But I decided to keep going as long as the going was good.
I bought the ticket for the last train, SL Pendeltåget, on Upptåget. That meant that I could just roll over the platform and board the next train without stopping at the ticket machine. The commuter train in Stockholm does not sell ticket on the train, you must have one before traveling, or face a 1200 SEK fine if caught.
Maybe a bit to my own surprise I arrived home some 14 hours after leaving Trondheim, I was very tired for 2 days, but by now I am already packing for my next bike trip.