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CargoNet

The Ofoten Line is a 43-kilometre railway line. It runs from the Port of Narvik to Riksgränsen on the Norway - Sweden border, where the line continues as the Ore Line via Kiruna and Gällivare to Luleå. The Ofoten Line is single track, electrified at 15 kV 16 2/3 Hz AC and has seven stations. The line only connects to the rest of the Norwegian railway network via Sweden.

The main traffic is up to twelve daily freight trains operated by Malmtrafik that haul iron ore from Sweden to Narvik. In addition, CargoNet operates container trains, branded as the Arctic Rail Express, and SJ operates passenger trains, including a night train to Stockholm. The Ofoten Line is also part of the Northern East West Freight Corridor, which hauls containers from China and India to North America.

Construction of the Ofoten Line started in 1898 along with the Ore Line from Riksgränsen to Kiruna. They were completed in 1902, allowing LKAB to haul ore from their mines in Kiruna to the ice-free Port of Narvik. Operation and ownership of the line was held by the Norwegian State Railways (NSB). The line was electrified in 1915 and NSB started using El 3 and El 4 locomotives.

During World War II, the ore traffic stopped because of the Battles of Narvik and the bombing of the town. In the following decades, NSB introduced El 12 and El 15 locomotives. In 1996, operation of the ore trains was taken over by Malmtrafik, which was controlled by and now is a subsidiary of the mining company LKAB. The same year, ownership of the railway line was transferred to the newly created Norwegian National Rail Administration. The line has been upgraded to 30 tonnes axle loads, allowing the new Iore locomotives to haul 8,600 tonnes trains.

Malmtrafik operates iron ore trains from the mines in Kiruna, Svappavaara and Malmberget to the Port of Narvik, where LKAB operates an ore port with a capacity of 25 million tonnes per year. Daily there operate 11 to 13 trains in each direction. The trains hauled by Iore are have 68 cars, are 750 meters long and weigh 8,600 tonnes. The full ore trains operate at 60 kilometres per hour, while the empty return trains operate at 70 kilometres per hour. In 2006, the company hauled 15 million tonnes of ore, constituting the majority of train cargo in Norway, measured in tonnes, although not in tonne-kilometers.

CargoNet operates two daily container trains from Alnabru Terminal in Oslo, named the Arctic Rail Express. The trains operate via Sweden and take 27 hours. The trains haul mostly food northbound and fish southbound along a distance of 1,950 kilometres. DB Schenker launched a competing freight service, between Oslo and Narvik, in January 2010. There is about 0.5 million tonnes of non-ore freight transport on the Ofoten Line each year.

SJ operates three daily trains from Narvik to Kiruna Central Station, of which two continue onwards, either to Luleå Central Station or Stockholm Central Station. Trains to Stockholm are night trains. Travel time from Narvik to Kiruna is 3 hours and 1 minute, travel time to Luleå is 7 hours and 4 minutes, and travel time to Stockholm is 18 hours and 25 minutes.

 more video Nordland Accommodation, Businesses and more pictures from Narvik.