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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 9, Issue 5 (August 1, 1934)

The Railways of Norway

The Railways of Norway.

Exactly eighty years ago there was opened for traffic the first Norwegian railway, an event which is being appropriately celebrated by the State Railway authorities of this picturesque European land. To-day the Norwegian Government lines run 2,500 route miles, the 4ft. 8 ½in. gauge system comprising a network of lines radiating from the capital, Oslo. The Oslo-Bergen route carries the heaviest traffic, and the 306 mile journey between the two points named is covered in thirteen hours. Between the stations of Voss and Myrdal, on this route, no less than twenty-five tunnels are encountered, the longest being the Gravehals Tunnel (17,421ft.), which took twelve years to construct.

The average speed of passenger trains in Norway is 40 m.p.h. Passenger carriages are mainly of the compartment type, and sleeping-cars are also of this design. Dining-cars are run on the principal main-line services. By the time this letter appears in print Norway will be thronged with tourists eager to witness that awe-inspiring natural spectacle, the “Midnight Sun.” At this season, the sun at midnight lingers above the horizon, turning the weeks before and after the summer solstice into one long unending day.