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Oslo Central Station ( ) or Oslo S is the main railway station in Oslomarker and the largest railway station on the entire Norwegian railway system. It is the terminus of Drammenbanen, Gardermobanen, Gjøvikbanen, Hovedbanen and Østfoldbanen and serves express, regional and local train services by four companies. The train station is owned and operated by Jernbaneverket and was opened in 1980.

Oslo S has 19 tracks, 13 of which are connected to the Oslo Tunnelmarker. The station has two buildings, the original Oslo Ø and the newer main building for Oslo S. Each building houses a large shopping centre. The square in front of the station is called Jernbanetorget.

History

Two stations

The old Oslo Ø has been converted to a shopping mall, but is still part of the station
When the first railway line, Hovedbanen, was built between Oslo and Eidsvollmarker in 1854, the terminus in Oslo had been constructed as an ad-hoc solution located at Gamlebyen. Suggestions included Youngstorget, Grünerløkkamarker and Vaterlands bru. In 1852 an architectural competition was announced, and won by a suggestion based on Crown Street Stationmarker in Londonmarker. This station was located east of the river Akerselvamarker and it was clear that this could not serve as a permanent solution, as it was not close to neither the city centre or the port. In 1959 the freight section of the station was expanded with the purchase of land between Loelva and the port, and part of Bjørvikamarker. The station experienced increased traffic from day one, but especially after the opening of Kongsvingerbanen in 1865 and the expansion of Hovedbanen to Hamarmarker in 1862.

In 1872 Oslo got its second terminal station, located at Pipervikamarker near Aker Bryggemarker and the city hallmarker. Oslo Vestbanestasjonmarker (Oslo West Line Station or Oslo V) was built to allow Drammenbanen between Drammenmarker and Oslo to terminate in downtown Oslo. The two stations were located about 2 km apart and were not connected by rail until 1907 when Havnebanen was built. There had been discussions about building a central station to connect Drammenbanen with the eastern station, but this idea involved building it via Majorstuenmarker and Grefsenmarker. Oslo V always remained a secondary train station in Oslo, since it mostly served local traffic to Buskerudmarker, Telemarkmarker and Vestfold in addition to Sørlandsbanen.

A new East Line Station

The year after the western station opened, in 1873, the Norwegian legislature, the Stortingmarker, decided to build a new railway from Kornsjømarker at the Swedishmarker border through Østfoldmarker to Oslo, Smaalenenebanen (now Østfoldbanen). The traffic at the train station was expected to explode due to this railway and it was decided that a new station had to be built. The engineers in NSB wanted to locate this new railway station west of the river Akerselva, between Jernbanetorget and Bjørvikamarker. But a conflict arose between Carl Abraham Phil, who was director of NSB at the time, and the City of Oslo. While Phil wanted a separate station for Smaalenebanen, the city wanted to concentrate the stations in one place in Oslo. On the other hand, the engineers insisted on moving the station closer to the city. In the end the architect G. A. Bull made four suggestions for a new station with nine tracks over the river Akerselva. In the end the legislature decided in 1878 to build the smallest suggested station with only seven tracks over the river. The argument was that the station was overdimensioned. Oslo Østbanestasjon (Oslo Ø) opened in 1882.

Committee after committee

But it soon turned out that the station was too small. The population of Oslo had doubled to 150,000 between 1875 and 1890 and between the opening of the station and 1890 the traffic had increased from 400,000 passengers annually to more than a million, and the station was already too small. The most critical part was the freight section, where the trains had to partially use the main railway for switching. One of the proposed solutions to the problem was to build the line from Østfold on a viaduct into the station and elevate it on a level above the other tracks. Another problem arose in 1893 considering where the new Gjøvikbanen was to terminate. Some suggestions implied a station at Grefsenmarker with one line to Oslo Ø and one via Majorstuen to Oslo V. The Storting decided in 1895 that the Gjøvik Line was to be built to Oslo Ø.

To start the process of expanding the station, the Storting announced a competition in 1896, which was won by Sam Eyde. The main idea was that the freight section was to be moved away from the passenger sections to Lodalen. The suggestion was put to the vote in the Storting in 1899, and with 70 against 39 votes the new station was delayed because of the high projected costs. Instead they appointed another committee to look at other possible solutions. The committee was split in its final decisions, but both fractions concluded that a new railway had to be built between the two stations, and proposed a line past the city hall and in a tunnel underneath Akershus Fortressmarker. But again the suggestion was watered out by the Storting and the only construction to take place was a new expedition for the Smaalenene Line and Gjøvik Line in addition to some minor changes to the freight section. The new railway line Havnebanen that connected the two stations opened in 1907.

The next major committee was created in 1938, and was to work out plans for what would become a central station. This was the first project to propose a tunnel under the entire city that would branch out from Drammenbanen before Oslo V. The committee proposed two suggestions, one where all traffic was directed to the new central station and one where the suburban traffic went to Oslo V. It also opened for construction of a line north of the city via Grefsen to Oslo Ø, but this was not recommended. The proposed tunnel below the city was proposed to be 1,660 m long. The plans also included a twelve floor tall building for NSB's administration at the station, which at the time was spread around at 14 different places in the city. The committee delivered its proposal on December 7 1939 to the Norwegian Ministry of Labour.

Wartime and change of plans

In 1940 after the German invasion of Norway in World War II the German puppet government in Norway took over control of transport planning in Norway and changed the plans in 1942 with the Tøyen Project. The idea involved dismantling both Oslo V and Oslo Ø and building a new central station at Tøyenmarker. The idea was to concentrate all suburban transport to diesel buses while the trains were to be responsible for long distance transport. Tram and commuter train services were to be abandoned and the area freed was to be converted to freeways, so it would become less important to have the main train stations centrally located in the city. Both the committee and NSB rejected the project. During the war the German forces exploited the railway network and stock, and by the end of the war the entire railway system was worn out.

After the war, in 1946, the Planning Office for the Central Station was created, lead by Egil Sundt. This committee announced an architecture contest for a new central station, and the suggestion Green Light by John Engh won. The planning office started work on planning the station based on the 1938 committee's work, and in addition decided to expand Alnabru Railway Yard in parallel with the railway station. The office presented plans in which it would take 15 years to complete. One of the greatest problems was the placement of the tunnel under the city. NSB wanted a straight line for quick transport while there on the other hand were extremely complex geological conditions in Oslo, including large areas of clay. The plans had originally included a station at Oslo City Hallmarker, but a more northernly line was chosen that would be 1,802 meters long.

But passing the plans through the Storting proved difficult, even though the plans were presented in 1952. In 1959 the plans were revised and in 1960 a new committee was created. They suggested building a third line between Grefsen and Bestun for freight trains to connect between the eastern and western lines. It also felt that the tunnel should be expanded westwards and terminate somewhere between Skarpsno and Skøyenmarker and at the same time close Havnebanen. The new plans were approved by the Storting in 1962.

One station

The new central station was to have the same basic plans as the suggestion that won the contest in 1946, though slightly modified, among other things keeping the old Oslo Ø building. The station was to have 19 tracks, of which 12 were to connect to the Oslo Tunnel. Construction of the new station started in 1979 and in 1980 the Oslo Tunnel could be taken into use. The tunnel got one of the planned stations, Nationaltheatretmarker, while Elisenbergmarker was never built due to lack of funds. Oslo S was taken into use on November 27 1986 and officially opened by King Olav V on February 12 1987. At the same time Oslo V was closed, and is now the seat for the Norwegian Nobel Institutemarker.

Service

Four railway companies offer a combination of express, regional and commuter train service in addition to the Airport Express Train service.

Connections

Oslo S plus Jernbanetorget is Norway's largest transport hub, served by buses, trams and subway.
  • Connection to all six subway lines can be done through Jernbanetorget subway stationmarker
  • Trams and some city buses stop outside the station at Jernbanetorget
  • Long-distance bus termini are located 200 metres away at Oslo Bus Terminalmarker


Nationaltheatretmarker
Drammenbanen
Terminus
Terminus
Gardermobanen
Lillestrømmarker
Gjøvikbanen
Tøyenmarker
Hovedbanen
Brynmarker
Østfoldbanen
Nordstrandmarker

External links




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