Norway’s long-struggling train system has been receiving lots of extra public funding for improvements in recent years, but commuters in the Oslo area have been subjected to more service breakdowns during the past week. On Thursday the entire central station also had to be evacuated.
Trains ground to a halt twice on Monday, because of what officials at state railroad Jernbaneverket called a “technical error” that left central train operators unable to communicate with those running the trains. That brought all traffic to a halt between Drammen, Oslo, Hamar and Østfold. Even the Airport Express Train (Flytoget) was standing still.
The problems were eventually fixed but it’s not the first time they’d occurred. Train service was also disrupted several times in August, because of signal errors and other problems.
On Thursday Oslo’s central sttion (Oslo S) was evacuated after fire broke out in an escalator. The fire generated enough smoke that firefighters felt it necessary to evacuate all commuters, just as the afternoon rush was beginning, until the smoke could be cleared.
Two people were being treated for smoke inhalation. The station reopened around a half-hour later.