Not a day passes by without modern man being exposed to another athletic achievement. On top of all the great stories in Porjus, an epic physical achievement by Emil Åkerlund made our mouth drop to the floor of the Vattenfall power plant.
An electrically powered train can pull longer and heavier train cars faster than a coal powered steam engine. In the first decade of the 20th century it was decided to increase the capacity to ship iron from the mines in Malmberget and Kiruna. In 1910 the work to build a railway powered by electricity started.
The original plan of building the power plant in Porjus was seven years. However, it was decided to complete it faster and have the plant ready in 1915. This made things a little complicated the first year of construction, when there was no means of transportation.
Marsh land made it impossible to use horses. Rapids were an obstacle for traffic along the rivers. Cars and roads were some years in the future. The only way to transport things was by good ol’ backpacking.
The distance of the hiking path between Gällivare and Porjus is 54 km. The money the men earned was pretty good. Half a Swedish krone per kg was the pay. But it was hard earned money. The different parts to the machinery and so on would weigh between 40 and 50 kg. The record, however, was much heavier.
Emil Åkerlund took with him a machine part stripped down to 101 kgs. I took him a single day to carry it to Porjus. There is a dummy of Åkerlund at the power plant. In his shirt pocket, and displayed for all to see, a piece of paper is saying: Don’t touch me, I am tired after a long hike.
Most people would find it hard even to lift 101 kg. To bring it 54 km on a hiking trail to its destination is mind blowing. I need a break just after driving my car from Gällivare to Porjus. Read the other blog post about the power plant in Porjus.
Do you know of any other similar physical achievements?
Don’t Touch Me – I Am Tired