You wake up from your light sleep by the gentle rocking from side to side and up and down. The hard bed (really a backrest) that you slept on is still as stiff as you remember it last night. The cabin is cold, very cold. So cold is the cabin that the frost that surrounds the edges of the window have grown to almost half a centimeter in thickness. It’s also still rather dark. And you know that your last stop on the train is going to be colder and darker that this.
Nevertheless, you arise from your bed, first climbing down, as it is almost a meter and a half off the ground. Your shoes are cold, colder than the bed, but still it is a necessity to put them on and walk to the dinning car. The only thing on your mind is coffee: hot, dark, Swedish style coffee. The strong stuff.
Once that cup is in your possession, you are unsure as to whether to drink it or just hold onto it as a means of warming up your hands. Now you can really start to enjoy the scenery outside. And my god is it beautiful!
It’s 8:00 in the morning and you’ve been on the train for the past 14 hours. And between the magnificent views and the cozy feel of the dining car, it’s starting to all feel worth it.
Passing some of the small towns on the line, you start to realize just how far north you are. Just a few more hours and you’ll pass the Arctic Circle. The town of Älvsbyn, in particular, has a quaint little train station, painted a nice mellow shade of yellow. You notice that the train leaves the station with the most extreme grace, gently pulling forward trying to avoid any jerk which may rudely wake passengers.
Going back to the room, you notice that over half of the cabins are empty. These were the same ones that were empty when you went to bed last night. Was there ever anyone in them? Possibly not; it would probably be cheaper for SJ to keep them empty and just cram more people into a few rooms. Oh well.
Inside your cabin, your travel partners start to wake up. They, too, acknowledge the extremely low temperature. You all look up at the thermostat to notice that it’s still turned all the way down: a product of it being far too hot the evening before. As everyone wakes up, you decide to revert the beds into benches so that you can all sit and look out the window with ease. It’ll be another 2 hours until you are scheduled to arrive at your destination, and another 2 on top of that before you actually get there, with delays and all.
But there’s good news about train delays: If it’s longer than two hours you get a full refund in the form of company credit, or half refund in cash.