|System||Rail transport in Norway|
|Termini||Trondheim Central Station
|Opening||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 1⁄2 in)|
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. 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. 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. 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. The exception is the sleeping cars, which were new in 2006.
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. 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.
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.
- Though the Ofoten Line is further north, it only connects to the rest of the Norwegian network through Sweden.
- Norwegian National Rail Administration. "Jernbanefakta" (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 2007-10-14. Retrieved 2008-02-07.
- Helgeland Arbeiderblad (2007-02-18). "Lok og vogner på Nordlandsbanen (Engine and carriages on the Nordland Line)" (in Norwegian).
- NRK (2012-01-10). "Nye vogner på Nordlandsbanen (New cars on the Nordland Line)" (in Norwegian).
- Radio 3[disambiguation needed] (2005-09-05). "Kun nye sovevogner på Nordlandsbanen (Only new sleeping cars on the Nordland Line)" (in Norwegian).
- The Nordland Railway 50 years
- Ore haulage agreement signed
- Nordland Line (Nordlandsbanen) NSB (English)
- Norwegian National Rail Administration's list of stations on the Nordland Line