Norway prioritises freight trains after bad weather disruptions
The Dovre Line in Norway, the main railway connection between Trondheim and Oslo, is currently closed after a rail bridge collapsed due to a storm. In order to make sure that some traffic still runs, the Norwegian Railway Directorate said it “has decided to give freight traffic priority on the Røros Line”. Daily freight trains running on this line will increase from four to twelve, while passenger trains will be reduced from twelve to four.
The new policy will be enforced as of Monday, 4 September. The alternative route is expected to make sure that around 220 trailers remain on the railways rather than congesting Norwegian roads. The Dovre and Røros lines can both be used to link Oslo and Trondheim. The currently closed Dovre Line runs for 553 kilometres between Trondheim and Eidsvoll and is electrified, with some sections are double-track. The Røros Line stretches for 383 kilometres a little east of the Dovre Line, connecting Hamar and Støren with a single-track.
Norway has not been spared from historical amounts of rain and natural disasters in the past weeks, just like many other countries in Europe, which disrupted rail freight operations. Among others, Italy, Slovenia, France, Sweden, and Austria are experiencing such problems, as well as China and Russia. A similar initiative has also been recently taken by Switzerland after a massive accident that caused the closure of one side of the Gotthard Tunnel. The other side has been reopened and reserved only for rail freight traffic.