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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Troubled train line closed again

The long-troubled Follo train line south of Oslo was out of service once again heading into the long holiday weekend. It’s the latest disruption on the commuter route that cost NOK 37 billion (USD 3.4 billion) to build.

Now the problem is tied to leakage of alkalized water that corroded a cable last week and left passengers stranded in the dark for nearly four hours. Bane NOR, the also-troubled state agency responsible for railroad infrastructure in Norway, managed to reopen one of two lines in the new high-speed Blix Tunnel late Friday night but more work was needed on the other.

It’s only a temporary solution to restart service. Bane NOR will still need to plug the leaks instead of just diverting the corrosive water, but a spokesperson told state broadcaster NRK on Saturday that such work can be done at night or during the summer holidays to avoid more delays or shutdowns.

Newspaper Aftenposten reported that Bane NOR had found several more leaks in the brand-new tunnel that finally opened in December but then had to close 10 days later because of electrical trouble. Norway’s trouble railroad operations have sparked outrage and led to the resignation of BaneNOR’s chief executive in March.

The line between Bergen and Oslo was also disrupted heading into the weekend, because of electrical trouble at Myrdal. The trouble almost derailed a wedding on Saturday at Finse (reachable only by train) when the groom and nearly 30 guests were stuck in Voss Friday night, reported TV2 and NRK, but the train could finally roll again at 10am Saturday. staff




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