Thursday, April 13, 2017

Kristiansand, Kongsberg, Drammen, Holmestrand, Sandefjord

Day 6 starts in Kristiansand
 The view in the morning from my hotel.
 Taking a walk in the morning at Odderøya island and meeting this animal.
 Timetable outside ferry terminal

 This morning there is only a train to Oslo

 Setesdal Line was the first one built from Kristiansand to Byglandsfjord already in 1896, but today it only a short heritage railway between Grovane and Røyknes is preserved
 16 departures per day
 BM73 is parked in Kristiansand

 My train is arriving from Stavanger
 The railway to Stavanger is to the left
 TMZ 1450 "Frøya" from Infranord

 Arriving to Nelaug
 BM86 from 1954 at "Arendalsbanen Venner" location
 Arendal Line connects to Sørlandet Line in Nelaug. BM69 operates on the route to Arendal.

 Waiting for an arriving train
 One of the bridges along the route
 Fish burger is very tasty served at the train's dining car

 I'm arriving to Kongsberg

 At Kongsberg it is possible to change for L12 Local train
 BM75 at Kongsberg

 Mjøndalen. Here the line is shared between trains to both Bergen and Stavanger until Hokksund.
 Train has arrived to Drammen, one of the major stations in the Oslo region
 Station building from 1863
 Bragernes kirke

 Bridge over Drammenselva river
 My next train R11 will take me to my next destination - Holmestrand.
 Vestfold line was built 1882 and partially upgraded to a high speed (200km/h) double track line since 1995 as part of the Intercity project.
New Sande station opened 2001
 The latest project on the line is a 12.3km long Holmestrandsporten Tunnel opened as late as November 2016.
 From Wikipedia: "The new Holmestrand Station is located inside the mountain in the middle of the tunnel. The total cost of the project was estimated to be 6.6 billion Norwegian Kroner upon completion. The new tunnel reduces traveling time on the Vestfold Line by five minutes"
 This day the train frequency was once each 2h, but I decided to explore the new station.
 The station has two platforms and four tracks, two of which (in the middle) are supposed to be used for non-stopping trains. The hall is designed to allow high speed trains to pass in 250 km/hour, with a special emphasis on managing air pressure, noise and wind speed.

 The old railway has been demolished
 Station entrance inside the mountain
 Holmestrand is located next to the Oslofjord
 Another entrance, which is not yet opened

 Sculpture of sisters Harriet and Agathe Backer.
 Pets are not allowed in the new station
 The station is impressing, but for such a small village and so few trains... I don't know, it seems to be madness.
 Next train is arriving
There are proposals to connect the Vestfold Line with the Sørlandet Line via a new Grenland Line. It would connect to the Vestfold Line just north of Porsgrunn Station and would run 59km from Porsgrunn to Skorstøl on the Sørlandet Line. The line would allow the travel time from Kristiansand to Oslo in 3h 15min compared to today's 4h 30min.
 Passing by Slottsfjelltårnet in Tønsberg
 From Wikipedia: "There are no current plans for the sections from Drammen to Skoger, Nykirke to Barkåker and between Tønsberg and Larvik, but the government aims at upgrading the entire line by 2030, as part of the InterCity Triangle project."
 Since the introduction of the air passenger taxes in 2016, Ryanair has closed its base in Rygge airport, while it is still has some flights left from Torp airport.
 Looks a bit scary, but probably a necessary tool in case of an accident
 R11 line is operated by BM74, a regional version of the Norwegian "Flirt" train.
 My last stop for today is Sandefjord. I have decided to return back from Norway to Sweden by a ferry from Sandefjord to Strömstad.
 Sandefjord station
 Badeparken and "Poseidon" sculpture ensemble
 My ferry for tomorrow
My hotel for today

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