2010-08-17 Gamle Vossebanen

The Old Voss Line is a heritage railway between Garnes and Midttun near Bergen, Norway. Originally constructed as a narrow gauge line, it formed part of the Bergen to Voss railway opened in 1883. Following the decision to complete the railway to Oslo in standard gauge, the line was upgraded in 1904. Electrified in 1954, it continued to serve as part of the Bergen to Oslo main line until the 7.5-km Ulriken Tunnel, which opened in 1964, resulted in the closure of the line.

It is now the only surviving railway to feature a steam locomotive and teak carriages on main line track.
DSC04776 DSC04830  My first visit was around noon. No one there. I suddenly realised this society runs on volunteers, probably at work. DSC04773  The most important asset was sefely stored in the shed beyond reach for a decent photo DSC04761  So I turned my attention to other assets of the railway, like this turntable
DSC04762 DSC04763 DSC04764  Detail of the kingpin DSC04768
DSC04769  Turn around from the same location and you see this magnificant view. It was clouded but dry. DSC04752  Steam locomotives Class 18c no 255 received in 2008 a new heart in the form of a new steam boiler and firebox. Here rusts her first boiler. DSC04754  Rear tube plate and bolted fire box side under a box small goodies DSC04755  This is how stay bolts look like.They serve to prevent the flat firbox side from bulging under the pressure of the working boiler. Every bolt is hollow so if breaks a steam jet betrays the broken bolt.
DSC04757  The ash pan DSC04767  The ash is located over the rear driving axle therefore necessitating a deep cut in it. DSC04759  View from the firebox foreward to the smokebox tube plate DSC04831  Light penetrating through the stay bolt holes, revealing the horizontal stays
DSC04832 DSC04833  A glimpse of sun breaking through clouds DSC04836  View from the firebox through the fire hole DSC04770  Near tehe station a large collection stands in open air. This would be impossible in the Netherlands, the coaches would be covered in graffity
DSC04771 DSC04772 DSC04777 DSC04778  The teak coaches the society is so proud of. The weather clearly leaves its traces.
DSC04783 DSC04784 DSC04785  Dining car DSC04786
DSC04780  The stion of Ganres DSC04813 DSC04787 DSC04788
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DSC04804  The rail fastners are of a very simple construction DSC04805  But I have a feeling this not the way to fasten rails DSC04807  A mail car DSC04810
DSC04811  With a letter box DSC04814 DSC04815  A diesel railcar DSC04821
DSC04838  After an hour or so I returned to our camping driving along the line. The line itself is very scenic despite going through pretty densily populated areas DSC04840 DSC04841 DSC04842  Rolling located on other stations
DSC04844 DSC04847  The modest station of Espeland DSC04850  At Haukeland this diesel simmers in the modest sun DSC04852
DSC04853 DSC04854  Spares are scattered everywhere DSC04855  Empty axles DSC04880  Early in the evening I returned to Garnes to see if any volunteers were there. I was greeted by an open shed. I had struck the jackpot!!
DSC04883  Steam locomotive class 18c no 255 was built in Hamar Jernstøberi in 1913. The locomotive has rolled 2.6 million km since then. This is equivalent to 65 times around the earth. The story of the new boiler and firebox, which is major restoration project, can be found   here     Again I had a word with the people tehere and again Norwegian volunteers proved to be 1) eager to speak English 2) very kind and 3) very proud of their voluntary profession!! DSC04885  I was told that the loco would be rolled out of the shed. DSC04886  So I was there, at the ready with my camera DSC04889
DSC04893 DSC04895 DSC04901  The loco was lit to be fired up for next day's ride. I was invited to join but was unable to comply because my holiday with my wife also has its own priorities. DSC04903
DSC04897 DSC04899 DSC04904 DSC04905
DSC04900 DSC04906 DSC04907 DSC04909  Note that the crosshead lever is from another engine (no 233)
DSC04898 DSC04910  Nobody needs translation but: Careful, high voltage!! Dangerous to come near the electric wires and their fixings, directly or with tools, water spouts or otherwise DSC04922 DSC04916
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