Before heading for Abisko, I popped in to the railway station in Lukeå to get a seat reservation for my trip, which was all I needed as I had a Eurail pass. However, there was no ticket office. Like, it didn’t exist at all. The pizza restaurant guy told me to buy the ticket directly from the conductor on the train. Once onboard, the conductor told me he couldn’t sell me a seat reservation, but “I was welcome on his train anyway”. Nice, but a bit too much of an ad hoc thing for me.
With a Eurail pass you’ve got the actual train ticket, but if a seat reservation is obligatory on a particular journey, you’ve got to buy one. However, if there isn’t a ticket office, what do you do? All the online sales on the Swedish Rail (SJ) website only offered full tickets, not seats only.
In Abisko the same thing happened. No ticket office at the train station. By now, I was getting a bit worried since I had a 22-hour journey ahead of me with three separate legs. What to do? Well, I decided to turn to Twitter since I’d heard you might be put on hold for an hour if you ring Swedish Rail during the summer holidays. Which is not a good idea if you’re roaming. After tagging my tweet with #SJ_AB, I got a reply in less than five minutes! With this link:
And that was problem solved! After that, I bought my seats online, downloaded the seat reservations as PDFs to my phone, and showed them along with my paper Eurail pass. None of the conductors ever batted an eyelid. I wish I’d known this from the very beginning. Still, better late than never.
Also, this is kind of key information if you’re on Eurail and you have this spontaneous idea of taking an X2000 train after the ticket office is closed. Boarding an X2000 train with no seat reservation attracts a hefty fine. I think it said SEK4,000 (USD500) in the warning text I read.