Saturday, January 29, 2011

Trainspotting Finse, Norway

The web is great for trainspotting, making accessible unusual venues all over the world. One I discovered and got hooked on during the fall of 2010 is the Finse small station on the Bergensbanen in Norway.

Below the location in Google Maps.

From Wiki, the Bergenbanen was a major engineering feat of the last century linking the capitol Oslo with Bergen on the North Sea coast in the west. The Bergen Line (Norwegian: Bergensbanen), also called the Bergen Railway, is a 371 kilometres (231 mi) standard gauge railway line between Bergen and Hønefoss, Norway.[1] The name is often applied for the entire route from Bergen via Drammen to Oslo, where the passenger trains go, a distance of 496 kilometres (308 mi).[7] It is the highest mainline railway line in Northern Europe,[8] crossing the Hardangervidda plateau at 1,237 metres (4,058 ft) above sea level.[6].

Despite its remoteness, Finse is easily accessible and enjoyable from the comfort of ones home via the webcam that provides 24/7 real time video of good quality. The webcam can be accessed by clicking on the screengrab below. Lots of people watching too given the high traffic due to this area being a cross-country skiing mecca. An article in the Telegraph provides a lot more information about the region from a tourist standpoint. LOTS going on there including conferences....[Edit: Apparently the Hoth scenes in the 2nd Star Wars flick, the real ones not the computerized ones, were filmed in the area. Makes sense...]

Finse Stasjon webcam page. Clock at bottom left counts down until departure of next passenger train. They don't stick around long. Crossing lights flash slowly (esp. when dark) increasing in frequency when a train is heading towards the station. Trains to Oslo appear from "tunnel" (man-made to protect turnouts...), trains to Bergen from the lower right.

The line is electrified and features a nice variety of modern stock, including the futuristic Class 73 emus.Also seen are various MOW trains, including plows, although the trains themselves seem to be doing most of the work and trains are seldom late, even in the worst weather. Below some images of the variety.

Class El 18 of the NSB on a dreary winter's day and heading towards Bergen.
Class El 18 of the NSB on a beautiful winter's day and heading towards Oslo.
Class 73 EMU, run as 4-car and 2x 4-car consists.
Flashes from the catenary of the night train to Oslo during a blinding blizzard. The train was on time...
CargoNet El 17
Class CE 119 of CargoNet, the Bombardier TRAXX (DB Class 185...)
Unloading the weekly supply train. There are no roads to this area...
Various MOW trains.
JBV (JernBaneVerket, the Norwegian National Rail Administration) Di3a NoHAB diesel

Can't wait until the longer days of spring and summer,
nevermind some nicer weather.



Bleri McThrust said...

Thats an amazing quality feed not just for the trains but for the real life surrounding the station.

Currently someone appears to be sculpting something in the snow outside the building can anyone see what it is?

Papphausen said...

You really get a sense of life there as that station seems to be it in terms of social center. People leave their bags, chat, play, ... Seen a family appear on a snowmobile with trailer dropping off/picking up mail, dog with them too, kids falling into the snow drifts over and over... Lots of fun really. Sometimes the trains become secondary.

Jerry said...

Really cool webcam feed...what an interesting place to enjoy from one's computer! Thanks for sharing!