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Go Snow

It might be cold comfort to British commuters, but even Sweden's super-efficient railways can be brought to a halt by snow.

The country - whose train network is often held up as an example to Britain's delay-prone service - has been paralysed by heavy snowfalls which have left thousands of travellers stranded.

Rail officials were criticised this week after they cancelled more than 200 trains, claiming they were preparing for the "Christmas rush."

Social Democrat MP Anders Ygeman told the the country's parliament:"Here we are again, the snow has arrived and the trains stand still."

Now Sweden's powerful national auditor's office is to examine the system's national operators, Swedish Rail.

"Big delays, drawn-out travel times and the number of cancellations could speak to bad management from the state. Poor weather is not a excuse," said spokeswoman Monica Rupprecht Hjort.

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