A historical tourist attraction
The Setesdal Line, or “Setesdalsbanen” in Norwegian, is an experience that both locals an tourists want to experience during the summer. Join us on board.
Today the Setesdal Line is a so-called heritage railway, as a vital part of the Vest-Agder Museum. Originally the rails stretched from Kristiansand to Byglandsfjord, all in all, 78 kilometres, and eight of these are still in use today. The two stations that you travel between as a passenger in one of the fantastic teak wagons is Grovane and Røyknes in Vennesla municipality.
CAPTION: The 18-ton locomotive is rotated manually with a railway turntable situated at Workshop Grovane. At this time the boiler in the locomotive has been heating for hours. That has to be done before the first trip of the day awaits. Thunes Mek. Værksted built the locomotive in 1901, restored to the look it had around 1950 – 1960.
CAPTION: On the inside of one of the restored passenger wagons right before leaving Grovane station. In a few minutes, we are heading towards Røyknes station, eight kilometres away.
The trip on board the Setesdal Line is presenting the passengers with the idyllic nature of Southern Norway. The line is considered one of the most popular attractions for both locals and tourists hailing from all over the world.
CAPTION: The train is passing Beihødalen station, where there is a double track. This is the only place along the line where two trains can pass each other.
The reason for building the Setesdal Line was the amount of time it took a person to travel from Bygland to Kristiansand. In the mid-1800s it could take around two weeks to complete the travel. Building the Setesdal Line would naturally also give an economic boost to many businesses and factories along the route.
CAPTION: We arrive at Røyknes station. Here the train will turn around and return to Grovane after an hour. Many people choose to grab a bite to eat while waiting.
CAPTION: In the good old days you paid per kilo for your luggage when travelling with the Setesdal Line, not counting hand lugage (free of charge).
With natural ups and downs in traffic numbers and economy, the Setesdal Line was running commercially until 1962. The last trip happened on the first of September that year. The work with removing the rails where started, but luckily some smart individuals realised that it would make sense to leave some of it. Already in 1963 the planning towards what today is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Southern Norway started.
CAPTION: At Røynes there is a one hour stop, and both young and old enjoy checking out the locomotive during the break.
CAPTION: When cole is burning it gets hot inside of the locomotive, and in the old days’ train drives would fry sausages on top of the boiler while driving.
CAPTION: Beautiful view from the last wagon when the train passes Beihølen Dam.
Timetable – The Setesdal Line 2018
Every Sunday from June 10th to September 9th:
The train departs Grovane station at 11 and 13.
The train returns from Røynes station at 12 and 14.
Every Saturday from June 23th to August 1st:
The train departs Grovane station at 13 and 15.
The train returns from Røynes station at 14 and 16.
Every Wednesday from June 20th to August 1st:
The train departs Grovane station at 18.
The train returns from Røynes station at 19.