More heavy snow halted trains

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Another blizzard that dumped as much as 30 more centimeters of snow in Southern Norway forced closure of the rail line known as Sørlandsbanen, which runs between Oslo and Kristiansand before continuing to Stavanger. Both passenger- and cargo trains were affected.

The blizzard follow another one earlier in the week that closed the main E18 highway along the southern coast, stranding an estimated 2,500 cars and their passengers for as long as 10 hours in freezing temperatures.

State meteorologists reported that the blizzards were highly localized, with lots of snow in certain areas and hardly any just a few kilometers away. Temperatures down to minus-10 or more were also described as “unusually cold” even in December.

The cold snap that’s gripped much of the country this week was letting up on Thursday. Both roads and train tracks were being cleared after what one rail official called “reasonably chaotic” conditions.

For photos, see state broadcaster NRK’s coverage here (external link, in Norwegian). staff