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

03 August, 2010

Sunday 1 August - Krøderbanen

Krøderbane - 1 August

Was a very good day today on the standard gauge Kroderen preserved railway, a 25km branch line built mainly for timber traffic in 1871, and converted to standard gauge in 1909. 
Locomotive today was a 2-8-0 tender loco, hauling seven varnished timber coaches. There was a seven piece band at Vikersund station (the mainline junction station) playing traditional Norwegian folk music. mainly on accordions. It was a joyful rhythmic music, entirely appropriate when in the presence of steam engines. 

After departure the band joined the train, and groups of them walked down the carriages playing more of the music, to spontaneous applause.

A coffee and refreshments trolley also moved down the train.   There was a good load on board, mostly family groups, of all ages, and all in a holiday mood.

About three-quarters got off at the second-last station for a "Western Show" at "Deadwood City". This was probably a good thing, as things at the terminal station (Krøderen) are rather confined, and this could only be rectified by altering the layout of the station. I get the impression that the heritage qualities of the station area are strictly protected. The station and goods shed both date from 1871 and are beautiful buildings.

Saw the loco being serviced here, and there is a good display of goods rolling stock, mostly beautifully preserved. A 2-6-0 tender loco was also on display, but was a challenge to photograph at very wide angle and 6400 ISO.

There were quite a number of people photographing the loco being serviced, and lots of digital SLRs about. There were also a number of motorcaders. Because this only runs on Sundays in Summer (plus some charters) every run seems to retain its novelty value, and people wave to the train from their houses.

All the intermediate stations have also retained their original appearance, and the whole railway from end to end seems to be treated strictly as a museum piece.

The pace of the train is leisurely, taking about 70 minutes for the 26 mm. This is probably to reduce wear and tear on the rolling stock and track, The latter is very light.

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