The Henrik Ibsen in a lock at Vrangfoss staircase locks
|⁃ elevation||72 m (236 ft)|
|Length||105 km (65 mi)|
It originally consisted of two canals. The Norsjø–Skien Canal, with locks in Skien and Løveid, was built in 1854–1861 and linked Skien with Norsjø lake. The longer Bandak–Norsjø Canal was opened in 1892 by the Minister of Labour Hans Hein Theodor Nysom. It extended the canal from Norsjø lake through Flåvatn and Kviteseidvatn (Kviteseidvatnet) lakes to Bandak lake. In Europe, this canal was seen as "the eighth wonder" at the time it was finished. The Bandak–Nordsjø Canal was mainly built for transport of goods and passengers, log floating and to prevent flooding. Log floating is no longer practiced, due to the closing of Union, a local paper factory. An eastern section gives access from Norsjø lake to Notodden via Lake Heddalsvatnet.
The Telemark Canal consists of 18 locks, is 105 kilometres (65 mi) long and has a total difference in elevation of 72 metres (236 ft). The biggest staircase lock is Vrangfoss, which has five chambers and a lifting height of 23 metres (75 ft). The riverboats Henrik Ibsen and Victoria travel with tourists from Skien to Dalen via Kviteseid. Victoria has traveled the Norsjø–Skien Canal since 1882, and the Bandak–Norsjø Canal since its opening.
The Bandak-Norsjø Canal was made a National Cultural Heritage in June, 2017.
List of lock chambers
There are 18 lock chambers at 8 different locations.
|Lock||Lift height||Chambers||Lock passage time|
|Skien||5 m||1||20 min|
|Løveid||10.3 m||3||35 min|
|Ulefoss||10.7 m||3||40 min|
|Eidsfoss||10 m||2||30 min|
|Vrangfoss||23 m||5||60 min|
|Lunde||3 m||1||15 min|
|Kjeldal||3 m||1||15 min|
|Hogga||7 m||2||25 min|
Maximum traffic dimensions
|Mast height||16||52.5||Limited to 12.8 m at Ulefoss–Dalen|
- The Telemark Canal
- "Telemarkskanalen blir NRKs nye minutt for minutt-satsing" [The Telemark Canal will become NRK's new minute by minute commitment] (in Norwegian). NRK. 2012-04-19.