Work is progressing on Norway’s largest transport project ever, construction of the new Follobanen train line that will run south of Oslo and greatly enhance commuter service. In the meantime, though, the work is forcing some temporary shutdowns of the existing train line, Østfoldbanen, but only on weekends at present.
Newspaper Aftenposten reported how Østfoldbanen was closed this past weekend from 2am Saturday until 2pm on Sunday. The line will also be closed during the same time frame on March 4-5 and April 1-2.
The closures are necessary because work on Follobanen, which involves boring the Nordic area’s longest tunnel at 20 kilometers, requires a shutdown in electrical power that also serves Østfold banen. There’s also lots of work underway on bridges and bridge foundations that’s causing traffic jams around Ski. State railway NSB was offering alternative bus service for Østfoldbanen passengers when the train line is disrupted.
More disruption is expected during the summer holiday months when commuter traffic is lower. The Follobanen project, due for completion in 2021, will allow far more passenger train service, more predictability, much shorter train commutes and increased capacity for cargo trains.