Tens of thousands of commuters in the Oslo area have had a rough week. State railroad Bane NOR hasn’t been able to provide them with reliable service, with half of all trains running late during the rush hours.
Bane NOR blames bad weather, technical problems and the loss of the use of a double-track. When a train derailed in an early morning snowstorm at the busy Lillestrøm station on Wednesday, fully three tracks were blocked. Every other train on the busy line running between Lillestrøm and Spikkestad was cancelled, and even Bane NOR’s chief executive was late for work.
There were also signal problems between Brakerøya near Drammen and Asker, and newspaper Aftenposten also reported how a track switching system broke down on Tuesday just outside the biggest overnight parking area for trains in Drammen. That prevented Bane NOR from putting lots of trains into the morning commuter rush hour service. Trains that were running were packed with passengers way beyond capacity.
Bane NOR apologized for all the tardiness and discomfort. It also had an historically bad year last year, with Aftenposten reporting that its on-time record was the worst ever. Vestfoldbanen reported only 66.3 percent of its trains running on time, while Østfoldbanen reported 72.5 percent and Dovrebanen (trains heading towards and beyond Lillehammer) reported 74.1 percent.