Discovering Forgotten Trails
Stockholm, Sweden is a city known for its modern, cosmopolitan atmosphere and pop culture influences. But beyond the city limits lies a secret history that reminds you there’s always more to the story. Visit the fringes of this renowned city to discover a past long forgotten and become part of its narrative.
Krutbanan (Gunpowder Track)
If you take a short drive outside of Stockholm, you may find the lost trail of Krutbanan, the Gunpowder Track. Once upon a time, this train track ran from the Northern Main Line near Ulriksdal all the way to Tygförvaltningen. Its main purpose was to move munitions to military bunkers. For this reason, the train track remained so secret, it was even left off maps.
Today the Gunpowder Track sits as an innocent dirt path and you could easily bypass it as another hiking trail. But at its end, you’ll find the military bunkers near a sealed gate next to the former platform, a relic that gives away this trail’s true history. You can find the Gunpowder Track in Sundbyberg or in Solna near the metro station Hallonbergen.
Kymlinge Metro Station
In an attempt to create an urban city out of the Kymlinge region near Stockholm, the government began to construct an above-ground metro station. But they scrapped the idea and never completed the structure, as the people wanted to preserve the natural areas of their town. As an abandoned train station, it was bound to develop some ghostly urban legends. The most prominent tale being the Silverpilen (the Silver Arrow) ghost train.
Seen around the entire Stockholm Metro, the Silverpilen is said to make its home in the abandoned station of Kymlinge. The train gained its name as it maintained its silver color, never having been painted the standard green of all Stockholm metro cars because it was used as a backup car when others were down for maintenance. Several eye-witness accounts have placed the ghost train around many different train tracks.
The story goes that when a young woman boarded the Silverpilen after a night out, it stopped at Kymlinge. Here, the other passengers whom she thought looked strange, all got off the train, vanishing through the locked doors and disappearing. That’s why it’s said, “Only the dead get off at Kymlinge.”
While the station is closed for visitors, you can still get close to the fence for a chance to catch a glimpse of the Silverpilen. You can also see the station from the window when taking the metro to Akalla right as you leave Hallonbergen.
Going back to the Bronze Age between 1700 and 500 BCE, Sweden’s Viking influences still play a role in the culture. The Kymlingestenen, or “elf mill,” is a prime example of Norse mythology shaping the very land in which the people reside.
The glacial erratic slab, transported to the Kymlinge area by glaciers during the Ice Age, contains dozens of small, hand-ground pits. The locals would grease the pits with unsalted fat at sunrise or sunset and leave behind an offering, like a small stone, coins or rare metals, as a sacrifice to the elves, fairies and nature spirits that dwelled in these pits. It was said to bring the people good luck.
Throughout the years, the Kymlingestenen has made its way around Sweden. For a time, the Skansen open-air museum housed it, and later they had it moved to Rissne center. It finally came back to its original home in Kymlinge in 2011 by a motion set by the city council to have it placed in its original location as a connection to their culture and history.
Go look for the lost trails of Stockholm on our “12-Night Hamburg to Kiel” or “12-Night Kiel Roundtrip” luxe-adventure journeys.