Nordland Line

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Nordland Line
NSB Di 4 Saltfjell.jpg
An NSB Di 4-hauled train at Saltfjellet
Type Railway
System Rail transport in Norway
Termini Trondheim Central Station
Bodø Station
Stations 43
Opened 22 July 1882 (to Hell)
1 February 1962 (to Bodø)
Owner Norwegian National Rail Administration
Operator(s) Norwegian State Railways
Rolling stock Class 92, Class 93, Di 4, CD66
Line length 729 km (453 mi)
No. of tracks Single
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Electrification No
Route map
728.75 km Bodø(1961)
branch line to Dreyfushammaren
720.72 km Mørkved(1987)
719.38 km Støver(1962)
710.75 km Tverrlandet(1961)
704.00 km Oteråga(1962)
685.62 km Valnesfjord(2001)
Sommarsetlia(ca. 2,000 m)
Polar Line started during WWII
674.23 km Fauske(1958)
Sulitjelma Line (abandoned)
Tuva(ca. 1,400 m)
Langrudodden(ca. 1,300 m)
Skruhammaren(ca. 1,100 m)
660.12 km Setså(1958)
Nonshøgda(ca. 1,000 m)
647.76 km Rognan(1958)
branch line
634.44 km Røkland(1955)
627.00 km Rusåga(1955)
621.45 km Trettnes(1955)
610.80 km Kjemåga(1955)
602.15 km Lønsdal(1947)
592.42 km Semska(1947)
Highest point680 m asl
581.46 km Stødi(1947)
579.30 km Arctic Circle(1993–2004)
571.09 km Bolna(1947)
561.83 km Krokstrand(1947–1989)
552.17 km Hjartåsen(1947)
543.05 km Dunderland(1945)
branch line to Ørtfjellmoen
535.49 km Ørtfjell(1945–1959)
534.63 km Ørtfjell(1983)
527.35 km Grønfjelldal(1942-1974)
Dunderland Line start
branch line to Storforsen
522.88 km Storforshei(1942)
Illhollia(ca. 1,700 m)
512.65 km Skonseng(1942)
506.51 km Mjølalia(1942)
500.85 km Gullsmedvik(1942)
branch line to Rana Gruber
branch line to Mellomvika
Mo i Rana Freight Terminal
497.98 km Mo i Rana(1942)
branch line to Mo industripark
485.77 km Dalselv(1942)
473.05 km Finneidfjord(1942)
468.68 km Bjerka(1942)
464.85 km Røsså(1942)
458.82 km Selhornvik(1942)
Hattneset(ca. 1,600 m)
447.61 km Elsfjord(1941)
440.77 km Dreyvatn(1941)
432.03 km Toven(1941)
425.21 km Drevja(1941)
423.31 km Forsmo(1946)
industrial track to Arbor Mosjøen
419.49 km Holandsvika(1941)
414.62 km Søfting(1941–1989)
Åsmulen(ca. 1,050 m)
track to Mosjøen Port
406.01 km Mosjøen(1940)
393.78 km Kvalfors(1940)
378.63 km Laksfors(1940)
367.24 km Trofors(1940)
354.49 km Svenningdal(1940)
339.37 km Holmvassås(1940)
331.69 km Sefrivatn(1940)
branch line to Sefrivatn pukkverk
321.74 km Majavatn(1940)
313.04 km Smalåsen(1940)
302.57 km Bjørnstad(1940)
290.25 km Namsskogan(1940)
277.27 km Brekkvasselv(1940)
266.05 km Flåtådal(1940)
254.64 km Lassemoen(1940)
Folmerelva(ca. 90 m)
243.68 km Aunfoss(1940)
235.79 km Harran(1940)
Gløshaugen(ca. 1,050 m)
228.66 km Gartland(1940)
Husfjellet(ca. 2,600 m)
219.54 km Grong(1929)
Namsos Line
199.06 km Lurudal(1929)
194.66 km Myrset(1929)
181.64 km Snåsa(1926)
173.57 km Jørstad(1926)
Heggesbekk( -1972)
154.10 km Valøy(1926)
Tiltnes( -1987)
136.66 km Sunnan(1905)
133.17 km Fossemvatnet(1909-1972)
130.34 km Byafossen(1905)
branch line to Nordsidleiret (abandoned)
125.50 km Steinkjer(1905)
branch line to Sørsidleiret port
118.76 km Vist(1905-1990)
114.84 km Mære(1917)
112.93 km Sparbu(1905)
Vollan( -1990)
105.47 km Røra(1905)
96.23 km Verdal(1904)
branch line to Verdal port
93.70 km Bergsgrav(1977)
Rinnan sidespor
91.63 km Rinnan(1904)
85.18 km HiNT(2001)
84.54 km Elberg(1968)
branch line to Havnevegen
83.90 km Levanger(1902)
83.30 km Sykehuset Levanger
76.01 km Skogn(1902)
branch line to Fiborgtangen
69.65 km Ronglan(1902)
64.83 km Hammerberg(1939)
61.40 km Åsen(1902)
57.43 km Vudu(1950)
50.55 km Langstein(1902)
44.94 km Alstad(1902-1993)
41.90 km Skatval
34.67 km Stjørdal(1902)
branch line
Trondheim Airport(1994)
Sandferhus( -1989)
Meråker Line
31.54 km Hell(1881)
27.70 km Muruvik(1921)
27.68 branch line to Muruvika
25.10 km Solbakken(1959)
branch line to Hommelvik port
23.75 km Homla(85.8 m)
23.14 km Hommelvik(1881)
branch line to Hommelvik port
22.30 km Hallstad(1912)
20.36 km Roten
18.55 km Midtsandan(1898)
16.62 km Torp
15.90 km Nedre Malvik
15.53 km Haugan
14.77 km Malvik(1881)
13.76 km Vikhamarløkka
12.69 km Vikhammer(1893)
11.71 km Saksvik
11.08 km Hundhammeren
7.42 km Ranheim(1881)
industrial track to Ranheim Papirfabrikk
6.63 km Presthus
4.91 km Charlottenlund(1899)
4.45 km Rotvoll(1909)
3.49 km Leangen(1881)
Stavne–Leangen Line
2.91 km Ladalen(1989)
1.77 km Lilleby(1967)
1.02 km branch to Nedre Elvehavn
0.99 km Lademoen(1904)
0.00 km Trondheim S(1881)

The Nordland Line (Norwegian: Nordlandsbanen) is a railway line between Trondheim and Bodø in Norway. Running for approximately 729 km, it is the Norwegian railway system's longest line, and the only one in Norway to cross the Arctic Circle.[1] It is owned by the Norwegian National Rail Administration.


The line originally split from the Meråker Line at Hell Station 31 kilometres (19 mi) north of Trondheim, but this stretch has been reclassified by the Norwegian National Rail Administration as part of the Nordland Line.[2] After Hell the railway passes through the towns of Stjørdal, Levanger, Verdal, Steinkjer, Mosjøen, Mo i Rana and Fauske before reaching Bodø. The line has three branch lines: the Meråker Line (to Sweden), the Namsos Line and Sulitjelma Line. The latter two are currently disused and the Sulitjelma Line has been removed.

Unlike most of the Norwegian rail network, the Nordland Line is not electrified. Passenger traffic is fairly heavy in both end parts of the line. Between Trondheim and Steinkjer through the Trøndelag Commuter Rail with hourly departures in each direction, and between Bodø and Rognan through Saltenpendelen commuter rail with about 10 daily departures in each direction. For the rest of the line the traffic is much lighter. There are two daily departures in each direction traveling the full distance between Trondheim and Bodø, one daytime and one night train service, and two additional services with one or two daily departures covering approx. 2/3 of the line from each terminus; Trondheim - Mo i Rana and Bodø - Mosjøen. All passenger services not traversing the full length of the line are provided by diesel multiple units (DMU), while the day- and nighttime services Trondheim - Bodø is locomotive-hauled. A standard car set on the line consists of four or five passenger cars and a dining car, and an additional two sleeping cars for the night train. The DMUs were for a few years also used for the daytime service of the full distance Trondheim - Bodø. Even though this slightly shortened the travel time as the DMUs have tilt technology that allows for higher speeds through curves, it was somewhat controversial given the lower level of comfort offered by this type of train. In February 2007, NSB announced reintroduction of traditional locomotive-hauled trains for the full distance day train.[3] Most of the locomotive-hauled cars were put into service in 1977, but were refurbished during 2012 with all new interior, including seats with power outlets and wheelchair adapted toilets.[4] The exception is the sleeping cars, which were new in 2006.[5]

There are freight terminals in Trondheim, Mosjøen, Mo i Rana, Fauske and Bodø, and 24 freight trains a week use the line. Through this service about 80% of all cargo from southern Norway to the Salten-region travels by train, and in addition over half of the train cargo goes on with ship from Bodø or road trailers from Fauske to the cities and towns further north.[6] Parts of the line also have more local freight services. The southern section has some timber transport, and between the mine at Storforshei and Mo i Rana, 35 km, there is fairly heavy iron ore transport. There are plans to upgrade the track quality here in order to allow heavier trains.[7]


The first part of the route towards Bodø, from Trondheim to Hell, was opened in 1882 as part of the Meråker Line, which links Trondheim to the Swedish border and the Swedish railway system (Central Line). The new Hell–Sunnan Line was built branching off from the Meråker Line reaching Levanger in 1902, Verdal in 1904 and Sunnan in 1905. It subsequently reached Snåsa in 1926 and Grong in 1929. The branch line from Grong to Namsos, the Namsos Line, was opened in 1933. Before the German invasion of Norway in 1940, the Nordland Line had reached Mosjøen. Construction continued under German supervision during the war, and by 1945 it had reached Dunderland. The section to Fauske opened in 1958 and the final part to Bodø opened in 1962. During the occupation Germany forces, using slave labour of eastern European POWs, started building an extension of the railway from Fauske to Narvik, the Polar Line, but this was never completed during the war, and abandoned by Norwegian authorities afterwards.

During World War II, the Nordland Line was among the lines targeted by saboteurs, and the Jørstad River bridge sabotage in 1945 resulted in the deaths of 70–80 German troops.


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