Week started badly for railway NSB

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UPDATED: State railway NSB had to deal with some serious trouble on several fronts as the week got underway. Commuters were trapped inside a train bound for Oslo early Monday after it accidentally tore down the overhead lines powering it, while the popular train line that runs over the mountains between Bergen and Oslo (Bergensbanen) was blocked by a rockslide and likely to remain so for a long time.

The train line running over the mountains between Bergen and Oslo was disrupted indefinitely this week because of a rockslide Sunday afternoon near Voss. PHOTO: NSB

The train line running over the mountains between Bergen and Oslo was disrupted indefinitely this week because of a rockslide Sunday afternoon near Voss. PHOTO: NSB

The rockslide at Ørneberget outside Voss on Sunday afternoon brought the Oslo-Bergen line to a sudden halt. By Monday morning, NSB was telling passengers to report for their departures as scheduled, after organizing bus service to replace the trains’.

“There will be departures as normal from Bergen with the train to Voss,” NSB spokesman Erik Lødding, told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) Monday morning. From Voss, he said, passengers will be transferred to buses that will then drive them all the way to Oslo.

Passengers leaving from Oslo, meanwhile, were to be taken by train to Ål and then driven the rest of the way to Bergen by bus. By Tuesday, railroad officials were warning that the train line may remain closed for several weeks because of the major repairs needed.

State railroad Jernbaneverket, the agency in charge of the tracks and other railroad infrastructure, was sending geologists to the site of the slide. It was unclear how long it would take to clear the rubble and repair the tracks, so NSB officials could only say that the train line would be disrupted “indefinitely.” Passengers were told to brace for lengthy delays.

Meanwhile, a commuter train full of passengers bound for Oslo early Monday managed to tear down the overhead lines powering it near the Myrvoll station in Oppegård, south of the capital. Passengers were trapped inside for around an hour-and-a-half until they could safely evacuate and board another train to take them into the city.

The accident disrupted service for hundreds of other passengers using the train line between Oslo and Ski. Jernbaneverket warned of train delays and cancellations throughout the day, until the power line could be repaired. Lines affected included those between Skøyen and Ski, Skøyen and Moss and Skøyen and Mysen, along with the regional line between Oslo’s central station and Halden.

newsinenglish.no/Nina Berglund