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Setesdalsbanen Railroad


Setesdalsbanen opened in 1896. The 78 km long narrow-tracked railroad originally ran between Kristiansand and Byglandsfjord. The railroad provided inland communities with a new and important means of transportation, which they had never seen the likes of before. It was the valley's most important means of transportation for many decades, for industry as well as passengers. Among the largest customers were Byglandsfjord Sawmill, Evje Nickel Mines, Evjemoen Military Camp, Hunsfos Fabrikker and Vigeland Brug (factories). Industries thrived in the valley and people could actually travel to Kristiansand and back in one day! The railroad survived for 66 years, through two world wars and economic crises. But eventually automobile traffic took over and in 1962 the railroad was shut down. A stretch of the railroad, about 8 km through rugged, scenic country north from Grovane Station, is still in use today. A steam engine and antique coaches run on a regular schedule during the summer season. Setesdalsbanen is a living museum that transports you back to another time. Train carriages and buildings are on view on the station grounds, and there are guided tours of the engine depot and machine shop.


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