Norway Travel: Extreme Rainfall Destroys Rail, Road Links

Tourists in Norway are facing travel delays in the aftermath of an extreme weather event known as ‘Storm Hans’. Several days of heavy rainfall—the highest in 25 years in some parts of the country—have led to widespread flooding and landslides in Southern and Eastern Norway.

Approximately 4,000 residents have been evacuated from their homes, with several campsites and other tourist accommodations also closed. Key roads and railways have been impacted, most notably between Trondheim and the capital city Oslo.

Although the rainstorm is now over, the increased water levels in many of Norway’s rivers continue to cause damage to infrastructure, while risk of flooding and landslides remains.

Travelers should be aware that a red flood warning—the highest level of risk—remains in place for parts of Southern and Eastern Norway over the weekend. The landslide risk is now at the less-severe yellow level for much of the country. The latest information on flooding and landslide risk is available at

What is closed and for how long?

Roads and railways have taken the biggest hit. Flooding has caused some roads to be impassable, while both flood waters and landslides have damaged key road and rail bridges.

Between Oslo and Trondheim, the main E6 highway is closed in three places: Lillehammer, between Nord Fron and Sør-Fron, and between Dombås and Oppdal.

Route 7 between Hønefoss and Geilo is closed, although the stretch is open between Hønefoss and Gol for small vehicles. Route 3 through Østerdalen has reopened.

Cato Løkken, spokesperson for the Norwegian Public Roads Administration said he understands people’s frustrations, but that “it will take time” for more roads to reopen. In some cases, survey work still needs to be carried out on some stretches of road.

The Oslo to Trondheim railway is also closed, as are the Bergen line, Rauma line, and Røros line—all popular with tourists.

Travelers should expect the main line railways to be closed, or subject to major delays, for at least a couple more days. The estimated time for the reopening of the Oslo-Bergen line is August 14.

Rail infrastructure company Bane Nor maintains a list of track closures and planned reopening dates, although the information is only available in Norwegian.

Cabins and campsites at risk

Many campsites and vacation rental cabins in rural areas such as Valdres have been closed or cannot be accessed due to road closures. But it’s not just holidaymakers who are impacted. Norwegian Police are encouraging cabin owners to postpone any maintenance trips.

“We fully understand that many cabin owners are anxious about their cabin’s condition after the extreme weather, but we hope people refrain from making a trip just to check. This is to avoid unnecessary strain on exposed roads,” said a Police spokesperson to NRK.

Air travel options

There is now great demand for air travel in Norway, especially between Oslo and Trondheim, and between Oslo and Bergen, with flights selling out earlier this week. According to local newspaper reports, some passengers with critical travel needs even flew from Trondheim to Oslo via Amsterdam.

Airlines SAS and Norwegian have since setup additional flights to cope with the expected demand over the coming days. There is now good availability on all major air routes.

Earlier in the week, rail travel was also closed between Oslo and Oslo Airport. Alternate bus transport was laid on, but there were long queues causing many travelers to miss flights. The airport rail link is now back open, but services are operating at a reduced frequency.

Travel disruption in Sweden

The disruption caused by Storm Hans isn’t limited to Norway. Trains are also impacted in Sweden, including the cross-border Oslo-Stockholm service which is replaced by bus between Arvika and Oslo. The track is also closed between Bräcke and Duved on the Stockholm-Duved line.

Problems on the Stockholm-Gothenburg and Stockholm-Malmö rail lines caused by overhead wires collapsing should now be resolved following the completion of repair work.

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