Through the Resurrection Mary series we’ve explored haunted roads...but what about haunted vehicles? In Stockholm, Sweden, there is a phantom train said to pull in every so often into active stations. It's called the Silverpilen, or The Silver Arrow.
I found the link between the Silver Arrow and Women in White that haunt highways incredibly interesting. Similar to the Women in White, the Silver Arrow is a ghostly silver color and haunts common subway lines. There is, seemingly, no rhyme or reason as to when the Silver Arrow decides to show itself. In fact, you could ride the same lines hundreds of times before ever getting a glimpse of this strange train. But, those who do witness it have stories to tell.
The stories gained traction beginning around 1965. It was during this year that the Stockholm metro added eight unpainted, silver aluminum train cares. Standing apart from the regular green trains, the unpainted silver trains were met to be a test to check performance and if all trains should lose the paint to save money.
However, these silver trains were not popular among commuters. They were spartan test models, rarely seen and often avoided. The doors slid open on the outside of the train unlike others and inside it was sparse of ads, decorations, or even a little bit of human flourish. Thus, they proved fertile grounds for the rumor of a ghost train.
Similar to the Women in White the Silver Arrow also seems to enjoy appearing at night, rather than the middle of the day. According to some versions of the legend, it is only seen after midnight and before dawn.
The train is usually seen completely empty, or sometimes sparsely filled with ghostly passengers. One should never dare to board the Silver Arrow, unless you want to join its passengers for eternity or, perhaps even worse, arrive at Kymilinge which is rumored to be the station of the dead.
According to Urban Legend scholar Bengt af Klintberg, “The passengers in the train seem to be living dead, with expressionless, vacant looks. A very common detail is that a person who just wanted to travel to the next station remained seated for one week in the Silverpilen. Many girls dared not enter trains which they believed could be Silverpilen”
Going back briefly to the station of the dead, Kymlinge, it is important to note that this is a real station. Well, kind of real. The death of Kymlinge wasn’t due to anything paranormal but rather a lack of demand for the station lead the structure to never fully open to commuters. Thus, the Silver Arrow had its stop - the abandoned station, Kymlinge. Like the strange silver trains, Kymlinge lacked any human touch or flourish and felt strange and uncomfortable for those who did glimpse it.
There are some people who claimed to have survived the Silver Arrow. One commonality amongst those who do make their way off this strange train is a loss of time. Some travelers mention just a few hours of lost time after getting off, but others claim weeks or even months had passed before they were let off the Silver Arrow. Another commonality is the fact that many of these travelers claim that when they finally deboard the Silver Arrow they are released at Kymlinge.
The silver cars were retired in the mid 1990s, but the sightings of the Silver Arrow have not slowed. In fact, even Stockholm’s young people who certainly did not experience the trains back in the 1960s know to avoid any silver cars that pull into the station.
The above image is of Kymlinge Subway Station taken April 1, 2014. This file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication