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At the restaurant and bar on west Sweden’s Blå Tåget that commutes between Gothenburg and Uppsala.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2014

My first observation in finding my aisle seat on west Sweden’s Blå Tåget was that the passenger with the window seat could come and go without much bother to the one seated along the aisle. Like large parlour armchairs, the seats on the train are generous in depth and width.

The Blue Train opened in December of 2011, as a comfortable, efficient way to travel between the cities of Gothenburg and Uppsala. The interiors of the vintage train were refurbished in deep velvet blue upholstery set against the original dark wood of the cabins in the style of the 1960s. Modern touches were added to the cabins to accommodate free wi-fi onboard. And in each carriage, bottled sparkling water placed with a wicker basket of fruit and chocolate stands on a coffee table next to the cabinet for coats.

The train boasts its own full kitchen, bringing on board chefs and staff that man the restaurant and bar. Lunch is a three course affair based on home styled cooking of the era.

In this festive season, the menu includes a starter of Skagen herring served with a side of dark Christmas bread, a main of low-temperature cooked brisket with red wine save and for dessert, French apple pie with a thick, warm vanilla sauce. Guests are invited to dine on fully laid out tables set with crystal, silverware and white linen. After lunch, you can choose to retire to the train’s piano bar for some live music, or sit and conference in the lounge area during the journey. You never need to return to your parlour armchair seating for the length of the journey if you so wished.

– Sometimes, traveling as someone else had in a different era, gives insight into a life that once was.
– If we give it a chance, yes. So what once was, can now be again, albeit, with a twist.

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“Sweden is one of the least inhabited countries on the globe. If you take a train from Gothenburg towards the north, the landscape goes on forever. And in the north, it’s even more homogeneous than this, there is almost nobody in between.” I gave what was said a thought. Looking out the window of the train, at the Swedish landscape. For the most part, what was not farm or residential areas remained undistorted, untamed and unbound. The colours of the landscape changed from autumn greens to water greys as the Blue Train meandered at good pace through the forests and lakes of mid-Sweden. I thought this reality whizzing by the tracks was a treasure to experience, and a smile broke across my face, “I think I could love the north of Sweden if that be the case.” I replied.

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A pattern on the glass panelled door to the train leading from one carriage to the other, reminiscent of wallpapers found of the same period of the 1960s.

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Restaurant and Bar on the train that serves up classic home-style meals from the mid-1900s on board, where the tables are laid with white linen.

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Decked in jultide festive at the restaurant and bar.

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