12/28/2010 10:13 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Vintage Trains Deployed In Sweden To Handle Snow

In an effort to keep its public transit running during inclement winter weather, Sweden has turned back the clocks over half a century by deploying vintage trains.

According to Sweden's English news site The Local, two old DA locomotives from the mid-1950s -- normally displayed at the Swedish Railway Museum in Gävle -- have been put back into service to clear the tracks of snow between Mjölby and Alvesta in southern Sweden. Meanwhile, a 100-year-old snowplow is also in place alongside the tracks in nearby Nässjö, ready to be called into action if needed.

A harsher-than-usual Swedish winter, reportedly the nation's coldest in 110 years, is expected to result in staggering maintenance costs for both railways and roads. "We have not been able to battle the snow with salt as it has been colder than minus eight degrees Celsius in most parts of the country," Pär Gustafsson of Sweden's Transport Administration is quoted as saying. "We will not pinch on the winter -- it will cost what it costs."

Already, the use of the antique locomotives has kept transit operating at full capacity even during the holidays, particularly in southern Sweden. "These are made of stern stuff which can take the winter, and we are very happy to be able to help to keep the railways running," said Henrik Reuterdahl of the Swedish Railway Museum.

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