The first bus

The first bus

The precise reasons why a group of entrepreneurs decided to establish Sweden’s first bus company in a heavily forested and remote area with appalling roads remain unclear.

Nevertheless, in late autumn 1911 local operator Nordmarkens Automobiltrafik in the westernmost part of Sweden took delivery of the first bus built in the country.

Equipped with a chain-driven chassis built by Scania in Malmö and an engine and body by Vabis in Södertälje, the bus was well suited for all around the year traffic on the route Åmot-Årjäng.

The light-coloured bus with its many windows aroused enormous interest. “The new automobile performed excellently”, confirmed a gratified Board. Traffic with thrilled passengers went smoothly the first winter, with snow chains on the bus’ rear wheels. The following summer of 1912 was much more challenging, with splitting tyres, terrified horses and ambushes set by angry farmhands.

The harsh conditions eventually took its toll on the bus. But the chassis and the powerful engine still made its service, hauling timber to a glassworks factory in the region. Sometime in the early 1920s the vehicle was driven onto the frozen Stora Gla lake, where it sank through the ice the following spring, disappearing, perhaps forever.