Railroad officials were warning on Tuesday that the popular train line between Oslo and Bergen (Bergensbanen) may not re-open for another few weeks after piles of rocks suddenly crashed down a mountainside and onto its tracks over the weekend. Costs were mounting, meanwhile, for freight firms that rely on the line for cargo shipments.
The line was blocked near Voss in western Norway after a rockslide Sunday afternoon. On Monday, emergency crews could finally assess the damage and they determined that massive repairs are needed.
“We have damage to the power lines, damage to the signal system and damage to the tracks themselves,” John Herman Rivenes of state railroad Jernbaneverket told state broadcaster NRK. He couldn’t say how long the repairs would take, only that “this will take some time to fix.”
Thousands of passengers face delays, not least all those traveling on the annual fall holiday (høstferie) this week. Transport firm CargoNet reported that the closure was costing it as much as NOK 10 million, just in the first week, because of the trucks that would be needed to replace lost train capacity.