Drammen Line

Summary

The Drammen Line (Norwegian: Drammenbanen) is a 52.86-kilometre (32.85 mi) railway line between Oslo and Drammen, Norway, which was opened on 7 October 1872. It serves all trains west of Oslo Central Station and is owned by Bane NOR.

Drammen Line
NSB BM69639.jpg
NSB Class 69 local train units are used on the Drammen Line, here shown at Oslo S, the terminus of the line.
Overview
Native nameDrammenbanen
OwnerBane NOR
TerminiOslo S
Drammen
Stations17
Service
TypeRailway
Operator(s)Norwegian State Railways
Flytoget
CargoNet
Rolling stockClass 69, Class 70, Class 71, Class 72, Class 73
History
Opened7 October 1872
Technical
Line length52.86 km (32.85 mi)
Number of tracksDouble
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in)
Old gauge1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)
Electrification15 kV  16.7 Hz AC
Operating speedMax. 160 kilometres per hour (99 mph)
Route map

Legend
Year or
length in m
0.27
Oslo Central
1854
3,632
1.40
Nationaltheatret
1980
2.29
Elisenberg
(1980)
(0.00)
Oslo West
1872–
1989 
(1.58)
Filipstad
1989
(1.90)
Skarpsno
1882
3.00
freight line to Skøyen
3.38
Skøyen
1872
4.31
Bestun
1884
6.02
Lysaker
1872
2011
7.30
Myra
1931
7.96
Stabekk
1884
8.74
Strand
1931
9.74
Høvik
1874
10.40
Ramstad
1931
11.27
Blommenholm
1910
13.19
Sandvika
1872
planned
2005
14.42
Jong
1959
14.84
Slependen
1873
Billingstad tunnel
372
16.72
Billingstad
1919
Åstad tunnel
106
Solhaug tunnel
253
Solstad tunnel
52
55
19.25
Hvalstad
1872
Hvalstad tunnel
183
29
Hvalstad tunnel
144
20.32
Vakås
1957
21.37
Høn
1930
Asker tunnel
410
23.16
Asker
1872
10,723
Lier
1973
Lierstranda
lumber terminal
Brakerøya
1873
Holmen Bridge
over Drammenselva
546
Holmen Port
Holmen Bridge
over Drammenselva
451
Tollbukaia
Drammen
1866
Year or
length in m

The line opened as a 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) narrow gauge railway, and rebuilt to standard gauge between 1913 and 1922.[1] The line was electrified in 1922, as the first line on the national network to be electrified. The Lieråsen Tunnel shortened the line in 1973, and in 1980 the Oslo Tunnel was built, allowing the line to connect to the new Oslo Central Station. The Asker Line runs parallel to the Drammen Line, mostly in tunnels.

At Drammen, the Vestfold Line branches off to the south while the Bergen Line and the Sørlandet Line continue together to Hokksund along the Randsfjorden Line. The entire line has double track due to the heavy traffic on the line. The longest Norwegian railway bridge is just before Drammen where the line crosses the Drammen river. That bridge is 454 metres long.

HistoryEdit

Both Drammen and Oslo were important ports serving Eastern Norway, and both had by the 1870s their own railway lines. Oslo was connected to Romerike by the Hoved Line and to Sweden by the Kongsvinger Line, while Drammen was connected to Ringerike by the Randsfjorden Line. The most important use of the lines were shipment of lumber to the respective ports for export, but the lines also saw an increasing passenger traffic. Due to the cheap and quick construction method propagated by NSB at the time, the Randsfjord Line was built in narrow gauge; the lines connecting to Oslo were on the other hand built in standard gauge, to ensure compatibility with the Swedish railway network. There was a considerable feeling of rivalry between the two cities at the time, and particularly in Drammen there was skepticism of building a line that could dilute the cities regional influence on behalf of the capital.

Radical forces eventually succeeded in changing the tide of opinion, and Drammen politicians allowed the construction of the line. The rail gauge issue still created a problem, as did the location of the railway station in Oslo; Oslo East Station was located at the then east end of the city, and a line from Drammen—located to the west of Oslo—would either have to take the long trip around the north of the city, or terminate at a separate station on the west end. The latter solution was chosen, and Oslo West Station was opened along with the new line.

Electrification and double trackEdit

Built as a narrow gauge railway, the Drammen Line was converted to a dual gauge railway between 1917 and 1920. On 13 November 1922 the dual gauge was removed. The line from Oslo V to Brakerøya was electrified on 26 November 1922 while the line from Brakerøya to Drammen was electrified on 6 May 1930. The Drammen Line was the second railway line in Norway to be rebuilt to double track. The line from Oslo V to Sandvika was opened with double track on 26 November 1922 while the line from Sandvika to Asker was extended in three steps: BillingstadHvalstad on 24 July 1953, Hvalstad–Asker on 29 November 1955 and Sandvika–Billingstad on 9 November 1958. Double track further to Brakerøya in Drammen opened with the Lieråsen Tunnel, while the last part over the bridge into Drammen Station was finished in 1996.

Lieråsen TunnelEdit

The most significant shortening of the line came with the opening of the 10.7-kilometre (10,700 m) long Lieråsen Tunnel on 3 June 1973,[2] part of a new 15.2-kilometre (9.4 mi) line from Asker to Brakerøya. This concluded the double track to Brakerøya in Drammen, and shortened the railway by 12,438 metres (40,807 ft). Part of the old line, from Asker to Spikkestad, has been kept as the single-tracked Spikkestad Line, used by commuter trains.

Oslo TunnelEdit

After decades of planning, the 3,632-metre (11,916 ft) Oslo Tunnel opened in 1980, extending the Drammen Line from Skøyen to the new Oslo Central Station, that replaced Oslo East Station. The former terminus of Oslo West Station was closed, and has since been converted into the office of the Nobel Peace Prize. The railway from Skøyen to Oslo V has been reclassified to the Skøyen–Filipstad Line, and is used for freight trains serving the Oslo Port. The former Port Line that connected the east and west stations was removed.

Asker LineEdit

The Asker Line is an partially completed line that supplements the Drammen Line between Oslo and Asker. Construction started in 2001, with the first section from Asker to Sandvika opening in 2005. The section from Sandvika to Lysaker opened in 2011. The construction of the last section in the original plans, from Lysaker to Skøyen, was first postponed until after 2020, but in 2020, new planning started for a longer project extending all the way to Oslo Central Station, bypassing Skøyen to the north on the preferred route.[3] The line only serves Asker, Sandvika and Lysaker (the planned extension will add Nationaltheatret and Oslo Central), and allowed the capacity west of Lysaker to increase from 12 to 26 trains per hour. The Asker Line, allowing speeds at 160 kilometres per hour (99 mph), is used by express and regional trains, along with the Airport Express Train. It is also used by freight trains at night.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Historie" [Timeline]. Norwegian Railway Museum (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 3 November 2005.
  2. ^ "Lieråsen Tunnel". Caplex. Archived from the original on 9 July 2006.
  3. ^ Norwegian National Rail Administration (20 September 2021). "Bane NOR foreslår hvor ny tunnel under Oslo skal gå" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 22 January 2022.