Saturday 24th February 2018 sees the next outing with Norwegian “NoHAB” Di3.642.
The “‘Stålvogntoget” is ready for departure from Åndalsnes. Photo: Mette Larsen
The Norsk Jernbanemuseum are taking their class Di3 loco, Di3.642 on a 340 mile round trip from Hamar to Røros and return. The provisional timetable (subject to alteration) sees a sociable departure time from Hamar of 08:20, running via the Rørosbanen via Rena and Koppang to Røros – arriving at 12:00, and then departing back at 17:30, with a 21:54 arrival time home at Hamar.
Di3.642 is one of the 35-strong Di3 class of 1,750hp General Motors 567 series-engined diesel-electrics supplied by the Swedish firm of Nydqvist & Holm AB (NoHAB) to Norges Statsbaner (NSB; the Norwegian State Railways) between 1954 and 1969. This well-loved class were loyal servants to the Norwegians, being finally withdrawn at the turn of the century.
Di3.642, built in 1960 and withdrawn in July 2000, is one of the three members of the “Di3b” subclass which were built with an A1A-A1A wheel arrangement (as opposed to the Co-Co Di3a), and were longer, heavier and faster than their forebears. They were actually built for the Finnish market, but the Finns never took up the order. Di3.642 is unique, however, in being the only one of this subclass still to remain in Norway; the other two – Di3.641 and Di3.643 – now eking out their existence in Kosovo.
Di3.642 will have a good opportunity to sing as it will be hauling load five – carriage numbers BF14 21728, B5-2 26021, B3-2 25579, BC5 26029 and FR3 21265. The latter is the dining coach/coffee shop which will be serving light meals (meat stew), hot drinks, Norwegian waffles, soft drinks etc.
The train travels over the lion’s share of the Rørosbanen, which was formerly the main north-south main line in Norway prior to the construction of the line through Dovre which has assumed that role since the 1920s.
The purpose of the trip is to visit the Rørosmartnan, a yearly market festival held in the town of Røros, which is itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in a former copper mining area, containing approximately 2000 wooden houses and having a distinctly “olde-worlde” atmosphere.
Fares are 900 NOK (£82) for the round trip, or 600 NOK for just one way, plus approximately £3 online booking fee. Tickets are available from this Ticketmaster link, and are valid for entry to the museum itself (also at Hamar) on between 11:00-15:00 on the Friday or between 11:00-16:00 on the Sunday around the tour. You can select which individual carriage you would like to sit in, although it is not currently known how these will be marshalled on the day.
My thanks once again to Mette Larsen for the information to assist with this article.