About the Jaerbanen (The Jaeren Line)
The Jaerbanen, also popularly known as The Jaeren Line, is 74.7 kilometers. This line falls between Stavanger and Egersund, both the places that are located in Jæren in Norway. Jaerbanen’s name is not used officially, and the railway section is considered the westernmost section of the Sørlandet Line. The Jaerbanen line is owned and controlled by the Norwegian Railway Directorate, and the railway line consists of a double track that runs from Stavanger Station until the Sandnes Station. It also consists of a single track that starts from Sandnes and ends at the Egersund Station. This railway line is electrified with around 15 kV 16.7 Hz AC. It also has centralized traffic control along with a GSM-R.
Whether one enjoys train journeys or not, the railway line old Jærbanen offers an incredible experience to the visitors and travelers in Norway. The railway line presents a picturesque, memorable and eventful trip. One can take the train, walk and paddle to explore the true beauty of Norway. The best time to visit the place via train and the Jaerbanen rail line is during the months, especially in summer and spring. While taking the train via Jaerbanen, the travelers can stop their journey and stay in camps, stroll, and explore the towns and villages along the way. Travelers can find boulders, ponds, woods, blocks of rock, rare anorthosite, and much more.
This old discontinued rail section located between Hellvik and Egersund is a popular rail path that has become a major tourist attraction in Norway. Throughout the years, Jærbanen was considered a narrow-gauge that offers the most beautiful, scenic, and rich pedestrian and bicycle pathways. The old rail route constructed in the 1870s has hilly landscapes with endless vantage points, tourists’ spots, detours, picnic areas, and more. The history of this railway is extensive and rich. This is why the tourists will have wonderful energy, peace, balance, and gratitude when doing through the railway.
At the Jaerbanen railway, the tourists and travelers will encounter the Maurholen Station, where they will come across the guardhouse, easily rented for stay. This is also children and dog-friendly place. The tourists can try their luck with fishing if they have a fishing license, fishing rod, and experience with fishing. While on the Jaerbanen rail route, the commuters will enjoy the panoramic views from the Launesfjellet. Over the way, the tourists will encounter the natural views with the cultural-historical paths.
History and construction of the Jaerbanen
In the 19th century, there was a sudden rise in transport development in Norway. These rises in development lead to the construction of the Jaerbanen rail line. During most of the 19th century, ships mainly conducted transport at the Jæren coast. The government constructed some simple roads in the area; however, these roads proved insufficient for rapid and efficient transport. During the mid-19th century, there was development in roadways and transport. Many ideas and proposals were launched to begin the construction of engine service at the coast. With the 1866 meeting held at the sheriff’s office, Andreas Tanberg Gloersen, the forest manager, launched the idea to build a railway that connected Stavanger and Egersund.
Andreas had traveled to the Netherlands and observed efficient train operations. After returning to Norway, he held a meeting with the representatives belonging to the municipalities in Hå, Klepp. The meeting ended with a decision that a railway line must be constructed. The responsibility and authority for the preparatory tasks were assigned to the County Governor called Vilhelm Ludvig Herman. The County governor initiated the plan by traffic counting around the district. After the traffic survey, the estimates for revenue were revealed. The proposal for the railway line started to connect various villages and towns in Jæren.
At the planning time, national corporations and authorities made sure that the railway line was a part of the trans-national railway. This trans-national rail was supposed to connect Rogaland and Eastern Norway. This idea changed the initial plan, and the railway was planned with a straighter profile with few community operations. The rail proposal was then sent to the Ministry of Interior, and the ministry recommended the railway line idea and offered it to the Parliament in 1874. The Parliament then passed legislation to construct the railway line in June 1874.
Construction of the railway line began in October 1874 between Forums and the Gause. Railway tracks were soon shipped to Norestraen, located in the southernmost docks. With the railway construction, Norway started to experience good times in the initial years of construction; however, in the 1870s, people started to experience hard times again. Because of the economic crisis and financial burden, the government reduced their spending on the railway line, including the investments in stations. A small and standardized building was then selected in Egersund, and an already existing house was purchased. The railway line was opened in February 1878 and covered 76.3 kilometers.
The railway line’s opening had no tunnels and knoy twelve stations were constructed for stoppages. After the following year, a few additional stations were constructed in Sirevåg, Brand, and Hognestad. In the 1880s, Hillevåg and Mariero were opened.
The Jaerbanen Commuter Rail operates for the people in Norway and is considered a local service. The NSB operates this commuter rail service in Stavanger and Egersund. This railway service for Stavanger to Sandnes operates with a fixed schedule, and the train leaves every fifteen minutes. Half of the trains moving to Sandnes through the Jaerbanen rail line continue their journey to Nærbø and give thirty-minute headway. A train each hour operates to Egersund so that people can conveniently move to their desired destination.
On the weekends and evenings, the rail services are reduced. The approximate travel time is nineteen minutes from destination Stavanger to Sandnes. Stavanger to Nærbø time is about thirty-seven minutes, and Stavanger to Egersund train journey takes about one hour-seven minute. The operating costs of the Jaerbanen railway line and trains are covered by subsidies offered by the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications.
The railway line serves as the Jæren Commuter Rail, and most intercity trains run along the line along Sørlandet Line. CargoNet operates container freight railways and trains online at the Ganddal Freight Terminal. This is one of the most famous railway lines in Norway and is also one of the busiest. The railway line was initially opened as 1,067 mm, that is, three feet and six inches narrow stand-alone line. It was made on 27 February back in 1878. In 1904, the railway had to be extended from Egersund as Flekkefjord Line. The Jæren Line consists of an only branch is the Ålgård Line that runs from Ganddal to Ålgård, which was opened back in 1924. In a few years, Sørlandet Line got extended to Sira and Jæren Line integrated through the major railway network. The line was then converted to a standard gauge.
The Jaerbanen Line consists of the part of Sørlandet Line that falls between Stavanger to Egersund. When the railway line was opened, it was around 76.3 kilometers long. However, it has been 73.1 kilometers long since the 1950s. The railway line is a double track with about 14.5-kilometer section that runs from Stavanger Station, ending at the Sandnes Station. The railway line also has an automatic train stop. The zero marker of the rail line is located in the Stavanger Station and is approximately 598.70 kilometers from Oslo Central Station. Earlier, the line had a branch in the south part of the station. This line ran through a 334-meter long tunnel and reached the port later.
The rail route also runs largely along the waterfront as it meets Gandsfjorde in Norway. The first station immediately after Stavanger is called Paradis Station, which is 1.4 kilometers from Stavanger Station. The railway line operates past closed Hillevåg Station, a closed spur, and moves to the industrial area located in Marrero, and after that, it reaches the Mariero Station. The rail line continued to go past the closed Lyngnes Station to Sørbø Trelast and closed Vallen Station. It passes Hinna Station and Jåttå Station, where the latter hosts matches and concerts. The rail line afterward follows to the Jåttåvågen Station that also served as the stadium as it is a newly developed area in Jåtten.
The rail line also moves to the Gausel station, Forums and Sola, Lurahammer Tunnel, Luravika Station, Lura Station, Sandnes, Brualand Station, and Ganddal Station. The Gandalf Freight Terminal being the only freight terminal in the railway line, has an annual capacity of 80,000 containers and can accommodate 600-meter long trains. The railway lines also move to Skjæveland, Orstad, Øksnevadporten Station, Block Watne, etc. New plans are also being made to double and triple the rail frequency on the services and the existing commuter rail networks.