You seem to be located in .
Go to your Scania market site for more information.
The Scania wordmark Great Britain
Sales region
Production units

The bus that broke Sweden’s winter isolation

Scania-Vabis post buses broke the winter isolation of remote northern Sweden.

Motoring made rapid progress in Sweden during the 1920s – at least during the warm, dry months. But accessibility became much more difficult in wintertime. With the country seized in an icy grip, horse-drawn sleds were still the most efficient means of transport.

The Swedish Post Office, with its obligation to deliver mail and carry passengers in sparsely-populated regions, discussed three possible means of solving “this particularly important problem”. The first was specially-built motor sleds, the second to keep the roads open by means of snow-ploughs.

The third alternative – and the one adopted by the Post Office – was to build “automobiles capable of negotiating snow-covered winter roads, as well as summer roads, and of operating in thaw conditions.”

Aided by the visionary Postmaster-General Julius Juhlin and the inventiveness of the Post Office’s own technical expert Ernst Nyberg, Scania-Vabis designed and built 15 innovative post buses in 1922-1923.

Two of Nyberg’s inventions made the post bus unique. The first – track-drive and steered skids on the front wheels – was inspired by a Citroën desert vehicle. The second was a comfort feature boasted by few vehicles of the day: fresh air heated by the exhaust system was used to heat the passenger compartment. The idea became widely copied since Nyberg neglected to apply for a patent.

The post bus was instrumental in keeping the northern Swedish interior permanently open in winter. Hugo Hamilton, Speaker of the Swedish parliament is said to have remarked to the Postmaster-General: “It is a shame that you did not introduce your excellent post bus service earlier. You might have saved the state the millions it spent building expensive railways through the Norrland wilderness.”

Map

Let's talk business

FIND YOUR NEAREST DEALER

Scania Assistance

Scania Assistance is here to help you day or night.

Call us now
0800 80 06 60
FIND YOUR NEAREST DEALER