NORWEGIAN infrastructure manager Bane Nor has announced it has reopened the new Oslo - Ski Follo Line, which was closed eight days after it opened to passengers on December 11 for checks to be carried out after a series of electrification overheating incidents.

The 22km, 250km/h line was officially opened by King Harald of Norway. It runs through the 20km Blix Tunnel, the Nordic countries’ longest, and was built to achieve the dual aims of halving the Oslo - Ski journey time and relieving a bottleneck near the capital, allowing the parallel Østfold Line to be upgraded to a high-speed route.

Bane Nor CEO Mr Gorm Frimmanslund says the Follo Line faults were a difficult situation but is confident they are resolved. Photo credit: Bane Nor

Tests have now established that the overheating occurred in the return current cables between the tunnel and the switchgear building at Ski station. Now Bane Nor is satisfied that the faults have been rectified and March 5 saw the resumption of services on the route.

“For Bane Nor as an organisation and for me as CEO and senior manager, this has been a very difficult situation,” says Bane Nor CEO, Mr Gorm Frimmannslund. “It has been over two months since we had to stop traffic, which has affected commuters, other train passengers and the train companies. I am happy that we can finally welcome them back.

“The route offering on the Follo and Ostfold lines will be the same as it was when the Follo Line opened on December 11. The route is running with the full timetable from day one. For us at Bane Nor, it has been important to carry out thorough troubleshooting and a comprehensive test programme to find and correct faults before we could reopen the track to traffic. Unfortunately, it has taken longer than we hoped.”

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