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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Gondola halted for safety reasons

Norwegian authorities have closed another tourist attraction that’s also popular with local residents. The historic gondola known as Krossobanen in Rjukan was suddenly shut down last week after state railway regulators found deficiencies in its maintenance standards.

The shutdown follows the closure of the famed mountain road known as Trollstigen that has disappointed thousands of tourists this summer. The Krossobanen gondola dates back to 1928, when it opened as a gift from industrial firm Norsk Hydro. The company had major operations at the time in Rjukan, which is located in a dark valley, and Hydro wanted its employees, their families and other local residents to be able to ride up the steep mountainside to sunshine during the winter. Many years later, a special mirror was also set up near the gondola’s summit to reflect sunshine down to the valley.

The gondola is also often used by hikers as a gateway to Norway’s scenic mountain plateau Hardangervidda, but not this summer. “We must address this situation and work in a thorough and orderly manner” to ensure the gondola’s safety, Karin Rø, leader of the firm operating Krossobanen, told state broadcaster NRK. Rø said the firm opted last year to buy new equipment instead of repairing the old, and Rø said it will take time to find the special equipment needed.

“We’re of course sorry about this, and we are following instructions from the authorities to ensure safety,” Rø said. It remained unclear when the gondola can reopen. staff




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