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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Derailment keeps Bergensbanen closed

It remained unclear how long Norway’s popular train line over the mountains between Oslo and Bergen would remain closed, three days after a cargo train derailed just beyond the station at Arna outside Bergen. No one was seriously injured, but it’s taking time to remove the pile-up of boxcars.

Officials have confirmed that the cargo train ran a red light, but it wasn’t immediately clear whether that’s tied to technical or human error. A passenger train from Oslo, meanwhile, was approaching on the same track with around 200 people on board. It ground to a sudden halt and was halted for four hours inside the long tunnel just west of Arna, waiting ultimately in the dark for enough of the wreckage to be cleared that they could reach the station.

“But it was actually quite calm on board,” passenger Johanna Hundvin Almelid told state broadcaster NRK after her husband could finally pick her up at the Arna station. Mobile phone communication was cut, but Almelid said “folks just accepted that’s the way it was.”

A potential human tragedy was also avoided. The train line, even more popular during the current Easter holiday week, remained closed between Bergen and Vaksdal and state railway agency BaneNor couldn’t report when it will reopen. Local trains between Bergen and Arna are back on track, and bus service has replaced train service around the affected area.

NewsinEnglish.no staff

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