Trollhättan

Trollhättan railway bridge.
The railway bridge crossing Göta älv, from Spiköbron.

There is mainly two things that Trollhättan is known for. One is SAAB cars, and the other is the hydroelectic power plant. Another industry is Volvo Aero (jet engines). SAAB is originally - and still - also a maker of fighter jets. This production is however located to Linköping. If you have some interest in geology, the area should be noted for Slättberg, that is actually the floor of an ancient ocean. In places it is flat like a parking garage, and appears more like concrete than the bedrock it is. If you have time, you must not miss it. A smaller university is also developing in Trollhättan.

Trollhättan, Slättberg.
Slättberg. It can be seen in several locations in the eastern parts of the city around Sandhem (bus 21) and Halvorstorp (bus 22).

For Swedes, the musicians Paul Paljett and Peter Lemarc, need to be acknowledged. The Youtube boxes below will give examples of their respective art. Both of them have made music with Swedish lyrics, but Paul Paljett also made some songs in English, as he was popular in the Netherlands too. Paul Paljett was mostly active in the latter half of the seventies, but still sings, albeit in a smaller scale. I believe that he had the talent to continue much longer, but obviously found the need to do other things too, and indulge in a more low kee family life with time for the children. This song was number one on the Swedish chart for weeks in the summer of 1978.


Peter Lemarc is on the other hand still active, and has since the late eighties done a lot of records. Most of his production is not top list material, but I like the way he captures the Swedish melancholic and no-nonsens spirit in his often very brilliant and strong lyrics. He manages to intertwine song and music in a harmoniuos way that few can mimic.


Trollhättan is a city of some 55 000, but also part of a met-area with easily 150.000 people, called trestad/ tricity (or sometimes four). The others is Uddevalla, Vänersborg, and the additional fourth Lysekil, albeit a little further away. The city buses of Vänersborg even terminate in downtown Trollhättan, as opposed to just stopping short on the outskirts, as Trollhättan can more or less be seen from there!

Other special traits

Nobina 5778-24 by Trollhättan station/ resecentrum in 2010.
The buses carry the same livery as e.g. Göteborg. This vehicle even has a former history there.

As Trollhättan is situated in the Göta river Ålv valley, the landscape is not very dramatic, but mostly rather flat. But then again, it was some rapids along this section of river, that gave the opportunity to build the power plant. This rocky geography is mostly evident in the southwest part of town.

Nobina 6626-24, by Mjölnaregatan in Trollhättan 2011.
Eidar on top of the building, is the public landlord in Trollhättan. Administrator of the projects for Americans, or housing estate for Brits. It is less of a stigma to live in such areas in Sweden, even as one right wing party defined 50 of those districts as slum areas (a rather luxorious slum by that!).

Trollhättan is an industrial town, that grew much in consert with the Swedish economy in the decades immediately after WWII. Large scale projects has a strong presence, more than the size of Trollhättan would normally suggest. This is a boon for the bus services, or should have been at least. Surprisingly few people use the transit, in spite of the heavy development along the lines. One is getting the feeling that the transit is in vane in this city. I am rather sure that the headways were much better by my first visit, but the memory can fade fast. And also the attitudes towards transit, if you are not careful.

Nobina 5907-24, by Kronogårds torg, Trollhättan in 2004.
Kronogården is an area with some reputation, but I don't think it is very remarkable. Just maybe if you only expect things to be more Disney-esque in a smaller town.

Commuting

A believe that commuting is mostly occuring within the Tricity area, or south to Lilla Edet. Göteborg is however not that far away, albeit daily commuting is a little unpractical as it takes well over an hour by bus. The bus (route 600) is running every hour, but the rail services is not very frequent. The road is hardly enticing to drive in a car either. A four lane highway is currently under construction along a part of the way. Commuter trains will soon start to run between Göteborg and Älvängen, but that is barely half the way to Trollhättan.

Nobina 6759-24, Hovslagaregatan in Trollhättan 2011.
Kronogården again, this time 7 years after the previous shot.

Bus services

Nobina 5779-24, near Karlsporten in Trollhättan.
A former Göteborg vehicle once more.

Map for Trollhättan local routes. I hope the link will work even after a while, as any location on the internet is notoriously fast changing. The map is opening in a new window, that may make your browser to block this action, depending on the settings. When searching the internet for bus schedules, you need to know that Trollhättan is part of a large common state transit system. The route numbers have multiple entries. Either sort by the area name FYRBODAL, or community TROLLÅHTTAN. Either way, just read the destinations carefully!

Drottningtorget in Trollhättan 2011.
Drottningtorget.

The transit map looks rather impressing, but it only contains four decent local routes for Trollhättan. The numbers in the 50 sequence is hourly daytime only routes, more or less like handyvan services. Route numbers in the 60s is a part of Vänersborgs network, that could naturally be travelled too. The services exclusive for Trollhättan is 21-24. These are allday routes, with a frequency of every half hour. The exception is 24, that runs every 15 minutes, and likewise for the eastern (right on the map) section of route 21.

Nobina 3429-22, Halvorstorp in Trollhättan 2004.
This is where the city ends, in a very obvious manner. The fleet number visible do not refer to Swebus (now Nobina), but is a number for the state transit entity.

Actually it is strongly recommended to combine a visit to Trollhättan with also a little detour to Vänersborg or Uddevalla. One day is only sufficient to get a shallow glimps of two of the cities, so if there is enough time, maybe you shold rather stay in Trollhättan for a whole day. Unless you feel bored that is, then it is so easy to hop on one of the Vänersborg buses. Note that both cities lies within the same farezone!

Nobina 4650-24, by Drottningtorget in Trollhättan.
Four buses are leaving in different directions!

The bus depot is located just a few minutes walk from the station along the railway tracks in southeastern direction. The station is not a major transfer point in spite of the grand name "Resecentrum". Drottningtorget is without competition the most important stop, and the buses hold here for a rather long time by each passing.

Nobina 5778-24 close to Karlstorpsskolan in Trollhättan.
You could never guess it by judging from the map, but route 21 is actually sweeping through the opposite direction in this intersection, like a mirror image of this bus. It happens just before Gullriset and Skillnadsgatan respectively.

I have a soft spot for the eastern part of route 22, bound for Halvorstorp. Also the southern section of 21. 23 gives the most urban feeling, but should run more often than every halfhour. Maybe more people would use it then too. 24 is the easiest choise for the visitor, as it is the most frequent. The number of vehicles needed to operate the route, also facilitates for the photographer, as you don't need to come home with just a long series of pictures of the same bus, with only the locations differing!

The distance between the two terminals of 24 IS rather close, so it is not just a mistake in the production of the map. However, note that the left part is turning 90 degrees left after Sylte center, and is deviating more after that. That makes it come close to 21 too.

Trollhättan bus tickets

Trollhättan old water tower.

The tickets used is the same plastic smart card as in Göteborg. If you get the statewide one day or three day pass Regionen runt, it is NOT the bargain it may appear to be. You need to travel a LOT for that to pay off. It is not even enough to go between Göteborg and Trollhättan, and ride the local buses for a whole day! The better options is usually to travel with the charged amount on the card. Present it barely touching the reader in local buses, that is routes 21-24 and 51-53.

When going for longer distances, like when coming from Göteborg, hit the + button before bringing the pass to the reader. When alighting from a + trip, just touch again, to automatically insert a refund, if you are not going all the way of the line. Thus it is not necessary to decide beforehand how far you are going. Even as that is rather practical, the downside is that you will not know the amount for the trip until after.

Trollhättan church from Störmkarlsbron by night.
The river offers some spacious vistas.

Further options is Kommun or Tätort daypasses. Those are good for any geographic entity to the tune of Kommun or Tätort, that is city with some suburbs, and just city respectively. The place of validation will determine the place of validity. Alas I think those are available in summer only, but you can always ask for them at any outlet. Many convenience stores and similar places have machines for the validation or refilling of Västtrafik passes. If you will travel certain trains that don't have a reader, you need a reciept of the content on the active pass (get it from a bus or dealer). The train conductor could not otherwise check what is on the card. One might wonder if they don't have a union, as the employer obviously lack enough insight in their daily chores. A small handheld reader would do the trick...

Trollhättan vehicles

Nobina 4641-24 by Trollhättan Resecentrum in 2004.
This bus is now scrapped (or maybe still running in eastern Europe). Anyhow, the pictures and memory lasts.

When I was a child, Trollhättan did naturally have SCANIA buses. This was because SAAB was a part of that company then. Today only VOLVO buses are seen. The types and ages differ a little bit. As the operator Nobina is a national company, we can expect no coherence in the numbering sequences.

Around Trollhättan

Overlooking Lilla Edet.
Overlooking Lilla Edet, from a centrally located hill.

Uddevalla, Lysekil and Vänersborg have already been mentioned. Lilla Edet and Lödöse downstreams the river valley is also a couple of suggestions. Both of these are connected with route 600 - the same bus as you take from Göteborg. Lilla Edet has instant name recognition from the maker of TP: Edet. Lödöse was a precurson to New Lödöse, and from that to present day Göteborg furhter south. This both happened for political reasons, as the borders between Denmark, Norway and Sweden changed. Also the demand for an easy passage from the coast, made it more obvious that a location closer to the ocean would be better.

Scribblings by the old water tower in Åmål.
It is not only today's youngsters that do graffity.

Another easy direction to travel from Trollhättan, is north along the western shore of lake Vänern. One place you pass is Mellerud, often mentioned in connection with the expression "tough luck in Mellerud". That's a translation from Swedish. Åmål further up, made instant success after a film titled Fucking Åmål. I don't think there is much fucking about this agreeable little town, so maybe that is the reason the film was actually set in Trollhättan...Judge for yourself.

Kyrkogatan in Åmål.
Åmål.

How to get to Trollhättan

Trollhättan a foggy morning in October 2005.
Bangårdsgatan (named after the shunting next to the station).

The easiest way from abroad, is to fly to Göteborg Landvetter airport, and take the airport bus downtown. In the same bus terminal is also a stall for route 600 straight to Trollhättan. You can also take a train from the station nextdoor. If you chose to stay in Göteborg it is rather easy to make a day excursion to Trollhättan. Accomodation somewhere in the Tricity area is preferable if you would like to explore that area more thoroughly however.

Strandgatan, Trollhättan .
Sidewalk cafés along Strandgatan in Trollhättan.

Trollhättan links

A small collection of other sites with information about Trollhättan, transportation, and accomodation. The destination window for these links is the same browser window. The new page will in other words replace the current site Busspojken.

Trollhättan birch.
This tree is growing by the intersection of Nygatan and Klintvägen.

Trollhättan city

Trollhättan and Vänersborg tourist information (3 languages)


Västtrafik statewide transit undertaker

Nobina (operator of the buses)

Private search register with information about buses


Scandinavian airlines

STF hostels, Swedish tourist association


Trollhättan university

Trollhättan newspaper

Water tower site. Some from Trollhättan are shown.



© Busspojken 2011