I am a big fan of trains, I admit as much. I take the train almost every day to Stockholm, and I find that far superior to the stress and misery of driving a car or the poor comfort of a bus. I have always defended the railroad when people complain that trains are often late and unreliable.
But recently there have been a few cases of really bad delays hitting me… a couple of weeks ago, I missed a meeting at KTH by about 45 minutes after the train’s brakes broke. And today, we had an absolutely monumental delay — I arrived at my office some two-and-a-half hours late, which is pretty amazing (or abysmal) for a 40 minute train ride.
Along with thousands of other I got stuck after a power converter failure stopped all traffic from Gävle down to Älvsjö, and westwards to Västerås. Our train left Uppsala some one hour late, and south of Märsta we stopped and learnt that the locomotive had failed. So we limped back to Märsta, about two hours after we were supposed to leave Uppsala. At that point some of us left the long-distance trains and took the local Stockholm trains again. Which also had some fifteen minutes of delay, but compared to the rest of the day that we pretty much OK.
At least I got a lot of work done, you have to love laptops with large batteries (even if it was totally dry in the batteries when I got to Stockholm), Turbo 3G data cards, and mobile phones.