UPDATED: A rock- and landslide at Dale in the mountains of southwestern Norway crashed down Wednesday morning on the railroad tracks used by Bergensbanen, the main train line connecting Bergen and Oslo. Traffic was forced to a halt and officials warned of delays through the day.
Morten Kronen of the Hordaland Police District told state broadcaster NRK that the slide, with rocks said to be “as large as refrigerators,” occurred near Dalegarden and blocked tracks and the road known as Dalevegen between two tunnels. Kronen said at least one overhead power line for the railway was torn down as well.
No people, cars or trains were caught in the slide but police said it “will take some time” to clear the area because the slide was “quite large,” extending over around 30 meters. On New Year’s Day, officials said they hoped to reopen the line late Friday.
State railway NSB halted all trains on the line between Dale and Stanghelle and were evacuating passengers, although a spokesman claimed it was not a “dramatic” situation. “We’re glad that when something like this happens, no trains were in the immediate area,” NSB spokesman Håkon Myhre told NRK. He said a local train had just passed the area around 15 minutes before the slide occurred.
Passengers on that train were being transferred to a bus, and other alternative bus service would be organized between Dale and Bergen and between Arna and Bergen.
Geologists were being called in to evaluate the danger of more rockslides in the area.