"Powellite" Bagnall 3ft gauge locomotive at Black Sands, Victoria - 1938. Photograph: P.G. Dow

04 August, 2010

Monday 2 August to Hamar

Hotel at Vikersund was very good. A sort of resort hotel on the banks of Tyrifjord, which is like a wide river wandering through agricultural and forest scenery, without the wild ruggedness of the western fjords around Bergen. Had a spacious room with a balcony overlooking the fjord, with a good view of about fifty ducks when they come uponn the scene early each morning, and again in the evening. Hotel has a restaurant which serves good meals at reasonable prices (by Norwegian standards).

Today I headed from Vikersund by train to Hønefoss, there to change to another train to Oslo, there to change to a third train to Hamar. Departure time was 11:55 at Vikersund, and arrival at Hamar was to be about 17:00, with a wait of about 65 minutes at Oslo. I walked to Vikersund station from the Hotel, a little over 2 km, and got there in sufficient time to study the station building in great detail. It has been destaffed, apparently; though in fact is mostly now occupied by the Krøderen railway, which makes good use of on days that that runs. It is an original Randsfjordban station, dating from about 1870, and is in almost original condition. Randsfjorban was the third Norwegian 3ft 6in gauge line to be built, and the first one to use Beyer, Peacock 2-4-0T locos, and the first to use chopper couplings.

Vikersund station is basically a rectangular shed with a hopped roof, built of timber, but it is exceptionally well built. The quality of the architraves, windows, and verandah supports, for example, are way beyond what you would expect in a poor country, which is what Norway was supposed to be at that time.

The trip from Vikersund to Hønefoss is on the route of the original Randsfjordban, standard-gauged for over 100 years, and now electrified. The country is very attractive mostly agricultural country, but not spectacular.

(to be continued)

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