© Kurt Bangert and Carola Bläsing-Bangert
We just have arrived in Arvidsjaur with the railbus from Östersund. Two more hours, and the last steam train of this year will leave the station. Our luggage is in the hotel, and well before departure of the train we are back at the station. The train is ready, the weather is fine, and everybody is in good mood.
Carola is worrying, because I stay outside to the last minute before departure to take pictures. The last doors are closed, I have to get in. There are many passengers in the train, but we find a nice seat in one of the cars. The train starts to move and slowly rolls out of the station and village. The leisurely ride to Moskosel will take one and a half hours. Mostly we pass through pine forests, changing with moors. Two reindeers are driven away from the tracks by the whistle of the locomotive.
After a long time of standing at the open window and taking pictures, my hair is darkening from soot. We go to the cozy dining car to get a dinner. Baked Salmon with dill potatoes, tunnbröd, a flat Scandinavian bread with butter, pepper and salt. After dinner, we retreat to a small compartment somewhere in the train.
We arrive in Moskosel, our destination. It is 7 p.m. now, but the sun is still bright in the sky. The passengers get off and enter the station building, where coffee and cakes are served. There is a small exhibition on the construction of the railroad line. Outside, we can get own experiences. Carola pulls out a spike, hammers it in again and lifts a complete piece of track. "Allt sker på egen risk" - everything is on your own risk, and I refrain from lifting the track.
The locomotive needs water. I take several pictures. In the meantime, it is getting darker now and it is time to return to Arvidsjaur. The best place was in the dining car, so we take our seats there. The beer is half-prized now, because it is the last tour for this year. Everybody seems to be in excellent mood. It surely was a successful year for the club that operates the steam train. At 10 p.m. we are back in Arvidsjaur. The train stands at the platform for a while in the last daylight. Almost one year will pass until the locomotive will pull that train again.