The International Steam Pages

”Tertitten” - The Urskog-Hølandsbanen Railway

Continuing the reports on some of the less well known narrow gauge steam railways in Europe, James Waite writes: (Chris Yapp was here in August 2013.)

This is the surviving 4km remnant of the old Urskog-Hølandsbanen line which ran for about 57km from Sørumsand, on the main line from Oslo to Stockholm about 30kms north east of Oslo. The first stretch opened in 1896 and the line was complete by 1903. The preserved railway runs parallel with the standard gauge line for the first 2km out of Sørumsand, crossing under it on the outskirts of the town. It leaves the standard gauge line at Bingsfoss and climbs steeply through a valley and then through open countryside to the terminus at Fossum. The line was nationalised and became a part of the NSB in 1945 and closed in 1960. The preservation society got going the following year and the first part of the line reopened in 1966. All the original buildings had gone by the closure. The current buildings come either from other stations on the old line or are replicas. Particularly impressive are the loco shed and works at Sørumsand, a replica of the original at Bjørkelangen, the largest town on the old line.

The society has three of the railway's original locos, all generally similar 2-6-2T's. They are:-

No. 4 "Setskogen" (Hartmann works no. 3356 of 1909), NSB XXVIII type 
No. 6 "Høland" (Hartmann works no. 4658 of 1925), NSB XXIX type 
No. 7 "Prydz" (Henschel works no. 28463 of 1950), NSB XXIX type.
No. 7 was the last steam loco built for the NSB and is on loan from the National Railway Museum at Hamar. All three are in working order and are very smartly maintained - indeed the whole operation is very clean and tidy. Two other locos from the old railway survive, 0-6-0T no. 2 "Urskog" (Harmann works no. 2102 of 1895), NSB XXVII type, which is kept at the Hamar museum and runs on a line within the museum site during the summer and 2-6-2T no. 5 "Bjørkelangen", NSB type which is at the Technical University at Trondheim.

The locos run chimney first out of Sørumsand. The line heads generally northeastwards from Sørumsand to Bingsfoss and then southwards to Fossum. There are several good phot spots for the first km or so out of Sørumsand as far as the bridge under the sg line and good road access over dirt tracks between Bingsfoss and Fossum via a turning off the main road to the left at Fossum bus stop.

The line runs on Sundays in the summer. Trains leave Sørumsand at 11.00, 12.15, 13.30 and 14.45 and the round trip takes 50 minutes with an extended stop at Bingsfoss on the return run. 

Altogether a very attractive line as the pictures show:.

"Høland" in the stock shed at Sørumsand

"Setskogen" at Fossum

"Setskogen" approaching Sørumsand station

"Setskogen" approaching Fossum

"Setskogen" at the standard gauge bridge on the outskirts of Sørumsand.

See also the railway's official website:

Rob Dickinson