The Nesttun-Os Railway

 

Short history
The first railway line in western Norway was the line from Bergen to Voss, which opened in 1883. Very soon it was proposed to build a line connecting the village of Os with the main line at Nesttun (9 kilomteres from Bergen). The line from Nesttun to Os was 26,3 kilometres
in length.

The new line was built as a private enterprise, and they had to build as cheap as possible. On that reason the Nesttun-Os line was built with only 750 mm gauge, and it had the smallest bogie passenger carriages for ordinary traffic in Norway. Smallest curve radius was 50 m.

Construction of the line commenced in 1891. Three years later, on 1 July 1894, opening took place. The trains were packed to capacity by curious members of the public. In fact excursioners were the dominant traffic on this railway line. Goods traffic was of little importance, but a military training field at Ulven generated some traffic.

Hamre stasjon ikring 1898. Foto: N. N. Sontum.
Hamre station about 1898. Note the small station building!


From the opening and onwards the economy was a constant concern. As early as 1902 it was discussed whether to enter liquidation. The situation improved during the following years, due to the growth of the industrial revolution. The boom years during the first world war was a glorious time for the small railway.

But after 1920 the competition from road transport became serious. In 1927 the railway company started its first bus route, the beginning of the enterprise now serving the area. The last train ran on 1 September 1935, but the owner company continued to run buses.

The rolling stock on the Nesttun-Os railway was three 0-4-4-OT-Mallets built by Ateliers de Tubize in Belgium in 1893 and 1895. These locomotives were the mainstay of motive power through the 41 years the railway ran. A light locomotive of Decauville's Type 6 was built for the construction of the line, but was not much used in the ordinary traffic. This engine was sold in 1907. An O-8-OT was built for the line by Baldwin in 1917. Unfortunately this engine was too big and unsuitable to the line, and was used as little as possible.
The Nesttun-Os railway had fifteen passenger carriages and sixteen goods wagons.

Museum at former Stend station
A small and cosy railway museum is located at former Stend station. You will find the station nearby the agricultural school at Stend in Fana, south in Bergen.

At Stend one of the original carriages (built in Birmingham in 1894) is placed on a 40 m long relaid track. Here you will also find a rail tricycle from 1925. In the old waiting-room there is an exhibition with effects and photos from the railway. You may buy postcards, books, T-shirts or videos about the railway. Postcards can be postmarked with a special postmark made for the museum. Tickets are free - of course, since you can't travel with them anyway! A diesel loco of the Norwegian brand Levahn (s/n 389 of 1967) was placed on the track in June of 2006, the intention is to make short railway trips for the tourists!

The museum is open from 11.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. on Sundays in June and August, and by appointment.


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