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Scania powered commuter boats gaining popularity in Stockholm

30 NOVEMBER 2020

Getting around Stockholm by conventional public transport can easily take an hour. Built on 14 islands, bus routes are long and circuitous. Stockholmers are therefore making increasing use of commuter boats, whereby the one-hour commute might take as little as three minutes. These operations have gradually been expanded and the latest addition is the three diesel electric sister vessels Clara, Maria and Sofia.

After winning a tender, Rederiaktiebolaget Ballerina ordered the three boats from the Danish shipyard Faaborg Værf. The time from order to delivery was only 13 months for the boats, which was necessary to start operations on behalf of the Stockholm Transport Authority, SL.

“Six year ago, SL started trials with commuter boats,” says Gustaf Myrsten, Chairman of Rederiaktiebolaget Ballerina. “When it later became possible to use the service  with the normal travelcard, the number of passengers doubled. Since then, there have been two concession periods and the latest from 2019/2020 is for seven years.”

The new boats were orders with the same fibre glass hull as the shipping company’s earlier fully electric boat Sjövägen. The shallow draft boats have a capacity for 190 passengers, of which 95 seated. The spacious interior is designed to comply with all accessibility requirements for power wheelchairs, wheelchair and pushchairs.

Aftertreatment system which meets the highest emission standard

The propulsion is based on two 9-litre Scania engines that generate power for two electric motors. The company has subsequently added an aftertreatment system which meets the highest emission standard IMO Tier III.

“The 9-litre engines work incredibly well and we only purchase from Scania. It’s important that there’s an efficient service organisation because, as we all know, nothing usually breaks down on a Monday when workshops are normally open. We carry out regular maintenance ourselves and the Scania workshop does larger service operations and repairs.”

Traffic each day starts at 06:30 and ends at 23:30. The three boats depart from each jetty every 15th minute during mornings and afternoons and every half hour in mid-day. Each return trip takes 1.5 hours and the boats therefore accumulate many nautical miles.

“The boats are in operation 3,000–4,000 hours per year and the oil change intervals are after 500 hours. To uphold operations, we have two additional boats as reserve capacity.”

During 2019, more than 1.5 million travellers used the commuter boats and the number has risen each year.

“We definitely believe that using the seaways is the future for Stockholmers,” says Myrsten.