The Norwegian Railway Museum (Norsk Jernbanemuseum) is one of the oldest established railway museums in the world.

It was established as the result of an idea put forward by the Norge Stasjonsmesterforening (Norwegian Station Masters' Association) in October 1895, when a member suggested the time was right to form a museum.

As a result on 5 October 1896 a Museum Committee was formed, with representatives from various Norwegian railway organisations.

The NSB (Norwegian State Railways) allowed a room in the new station building at Hamar to be used for the museum, and the Government made an annual donation to its expenses.

At first the collection was confined to small items like photographs, documents, and telegraph equipment. Unfortunately the museum's collection had to go into storage in 1912 when the room was needed for railway purposes.

The museum was reopened on its own site at Hamar in 1930, and now included large objects like station buildings.

The collection is now large, and includes standard and narrow gauge locomotives and rolling stock. On most days during summer a narrow-gauge steam hauled train is in operation on the site.

There is also an excellent library in the museum, which includes documents going back to the beginnings of railways in Norway.

My first visit to the museum was on 1 July 2008, and my second visit was on 3 August and 4 August 2010 when I spent considerable time looking at documents relating to early 3ft 6in gauge in the library.

Frank Stamford

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A 3 ft 6 in gauge wagon on a standard gauge contractor's truck outside the Norwegian Railway Museum.

Main Exhibition Hall

A selection of photographs taken in the main exhibition hall, including a standard-gauge train of 1861, early telegraph equipment, and a Mannin Wardle 0-4-0ST locomotive.

Outdoor exhibits

Several beautiful timber nineteenth-century station buildings have been relocated to the grounds of the Norwegian Railway Museum, with their interior fittings still intact.j

Locomotive Alf

A 3ft 6in gauge Beyer-Peacock 2-4-0T locomotive of 1870.

Locomotive Hugin

A 3ft 6in gauge 2-4-0T locomotive on display at Stavanger station, but which is part of the Norwegian Railway Museum collection.

Locomotive No.7

A 3ft 6in gauge 4-4-0 tender locomotive of 1900, of a type originally built by Dübs of Scotland, but this example built by Thunes of Norway displays some unusual design features.

3ft 6in gauge rolling stock

This includes a four-wheel passenger car of 1873, the Royal Coach of 1877, a four-wheel petrol rail-motor of 1930, and an industrial 0-4-0T locomotive.

Standard gauge locomotives & rolling stock

This includes 0-6-0T, 2-6-2T, 4-6-0 and 4-8-0 steam locomotives, a B'B' electric locomotive of 1922, and two very old and strange track inspection vehicles.

Strange 3ft 6in gauge track inspection vehicle

This petrol-powered track inspection vehicle of 1904 is so peculiar that I think it deserves its own page!

Hamar Railway station

The magnificent Hamar railway station building of 1895, which was the first home of the Norwegian Railway Museum.

Links:

Norwegian Railway Museum - Hamar - official site (in English)


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All photographs Copyright Frank Stamford, 2008, who may be contacted by email at: frank.stamford@bigpond.com

Last updated: 28 December 2010