Rain damage halts train line

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First the major E-18 highway through southeast Norway was closed because of flooding. On Thursday the train line running through the area also was disrupted, because of fears saturated ground would slide out from under railroad tracks.

More heavy rain this week, including an unexpected downpour on Wednesday night, was causing more problems for local transport systems. The stretch of the train line known as Østfoldbanen was closed Thursday between Askim and Mysen after inspectors spotted the beginnings of landslides along the tracks.

On Monday, a slide caused by saturated ground caused a train derailment in Østerdalen, and officials at both railway NSB and railroad Jernbaneverket fear the same can occur elsewhere. They’ve boosted inspections of rail lines in recent days.

Harry Korslund of Jernbaneverket said the ground along the heavily trafficked commuter line in Østfold was “like a wet sponge, unable to absorb any more water.” That made the ground under the tracks too unstable to run trains over.

It was unclear how long the closure would last as geologists continued to evaluate the area. NSB was offering bus and taxi service as alternatives to the closed train line.

Views and News staff