This page is confined to some of the exhibits in the main exhibition hall of the Museum, which includes a book shop and a library.

This part of the musum is open all year round. Some of the other displays are not open in the winter months.

Frank Stamford

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Before the coming of railways sledges such as this were used for land transport in Norway. Water based transport was used wherever possible, by river, lake and fjord as well as coastal shipping.

Standard gauge 2-4-0 locomotive No.16 of class 2 of the Norwegian State Railways (NSB) was supplied by Robert Stephenson & Co. in 1861 for the Kongsvinger Railway. At that time the NSB was pioneering the development of 3 ft 6 in gauge railways, but the Kongsvinger line was built to standard gauge because it would eventually link with the standard gauge Swedish railway system. No.16 remained in service until 1914.

Letter type telegraph instrument. Public telegrams could be sent over the railway telegraph system, and with this type of machine they were sent letter by letter. Later (in the 1870s) morse code was used, which was much faster but required much more highly trained operators to use.

Leading to bridge

Needle telegraph instrument to record train movements. Normally the staff and ticket system was not used in Norway, traffic control was by the Train Order System.

bridge pier

Standard gauge Manning Wardle 0-4-0ST shunting locomotive No.25 of the NSB. Eight of these were used at Oslo station, the last was withdrawn from service in 1964. This one is builder's number 576 of 1875.

And here is the builder's plate.

The first railway in Norway was the standard gauge Norwegian Trunk Railway (NHJ) running from Oslo (then Kristiania) to Eidsvoll. It was a public/private partnership with a large contribution from English shareholders. The locomotives and rolling stock was designed and built in England. This included fourteen of these fourth class open passenger carriages, which had no seats. However the passengers apparently brought lots of luggage and could sit on that! The fourth class fare for the 67 km trip from Oslo to Eisdvoll would cost the equivalent of one day's wages for an average worker.

NSB standard gauge 1st and 2nd class coach No.AB 116 of 1867, built by Ashbury of Manchester..

First class compartment in the carriage above, with lined ceiling, curtained windows, and fully upholstered seats.

And one of the second class compartments, with loose cushions on the seats.

This is Carl Augustus Pihl, who was largely responsible for the development of Norwergian railways during the thirty years from 1856. He pioneered the use of 3 ft 6 in gauge against the advice of English railway engineers who felt that anything less than standard gauge would not work.


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:

Last updated: 15 May 2010