Silverpilen The Stockholm's Ghost Train

According to Christoffer Sandahl, the director of Spårvägsmuseet (the Swedish Tramway Museum), the story of Silverpilen (Silver Arrow) , the Stockholm’s poltergeist locomotive begins in 1965. That year, Stockholm Metro purchased eight unpainted alumuninum train cars to add to its fleet. The train was at times used as a back up for commuters, during peak hour, up until 1996. And for many passengers, it was quite the shock to see it roll up late at night at an underground station. But that’s not what made it so freaky to local Swedes. Swedish ethnologist and urban legend scholar, Bengt af Klintberg, wrote about the train in his 1986 book, Rattan I pizzan (The Rat in the Pizza): "It is only seen after midnight. It stops only once every year. The passengers in the train seem to be living dead, with expressionless, vacant looks.

Silverpilen was sometimes used as a backup train; particularly during rush hour. The train was used as backup on all the existing Stockholm underground lines, although more commonly on the Red and Green lines. Before and after its passenger operation it used to run without passengers to the depot without stopping, something some people found odd.

There are different versions of this urban legend. Some say that the ghost train has only been seen in abandoned tunnels by subway workers. Others say that anyone can see it passing the stations at high speed after midnight. Some even claim that Silverpilen sometimes stops to pick up passengers, who then disappear forever or later "get off" weeks, months or even years after they embarked. The inside of the train is described as being empty, or as containing one or several ghost passengers. Some people reported spooky sightings of the Silverpilen on unused lines, even at times picking up passengers.

By the 1970s the legend of Silverpilen was widespread, well-known, and growing. In the early part of the decade, the metro system was expanded, opening the new Blue Line in 1975. As part of this expansion, the Kymlinge station was built to service an area that was slated for an economic redevelopment. However this development never materialized. Without the expected demand for the station, the fully completed structure never opened to commuters. Soon this ghost station began accruing urban legends of its own, sparking a local saying: “Only the dead get off at Kymlinge.” Like Silverpilen, Kymlinge was blank and unadorned on the inside, without ads or signs, making it look pretty ghostly in contrast to the other bustling stations along the metro.

According to urban legend, anyone who stepped on board was lucky to step off again. Some passengers claimed to have been lost in time and arrived at their stop months later. But they were lucky compared to the ones who were said to have been dropped off at Kymlinge never to be seen again.

It was not long before the legends of Kymlinge and Silverpilen became intertwined, and the station came to be known as the home of Silverpilen, or the station where the ghost train picks up the dead. Just like Silverpilen, Kymlinge was very plainly real, but stories of the supernatural clinged to it like a fog.


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