The Sami Region of Norway, Sweden, Finland (and Russia) highlighted in this section
LKAB operates Iron Ore Trains across the Norwegian and Swedish Borders in the Sami Region
The preferred english spelling is Sami - reflecting its pronunciation and avoiding confusion with 'same'
However, in Swedish and Norwegian, the core 'same' will be found in local words
The Sami have previously been known as Lapps from Lappland. Sami have the right to herd reindeer.
More information is available from the Nordic Council and by visiting the area and people, and listening to joiks
Tourism in the area includes transit to Nordkapp, and around the coastal voyage to Kirkennes
The ICE HOTEL is a popular attraction, as is the LKAB Mine Tour
and Aurora Borealis - Northern Lights.
These can also be seen when enjoying the extensive National Parks (Abisko,Sarek, etc.) whilst walking, skiing, or snowmobiling.
At Abisko, Rallarvägen is alongside the railway.
Access: SJ operate daily sleeper trains from Stockholm through Kiruna to Narvik, and return.
Busses link south from Narvik, or around the Fjord to Harstad/Narvik Airport and Harstad for the Hurtigruten Coastal Ferry.
A 'convoy' of Camper Vans can be found on the routes to and from Nord Kapp in the summer.
On a geographical basis, it is logical to include dedicated pages to the LKAB and Malmbanan/Ofotbanan
in this section, as the Mountains containing the Iron Ore, and the trains are in the Sami region
Click for Malmbanan Models
Norrbottens Järnvägs Museum, at Karlsvik, 6km from Luleå
is a good source of information on the Iron Ore Railway.
Their collection of locos inside includes the original electric loco
Litt O through to the recently retired Dm3,
as well as steam and diesel locos.
Outside they have a collection of wagons ranging from early British-built through to recent 80 tonne hoppers. (about 140 in total),
and run museum trains through the adjacent forest in the summer.
As the Ofoten Line (Norway) and Malmbanan (Sweden), traffic was orginally operated by NSB and SJ owned locomotives.
1902 - 1914: >prior to electrification, 21x SJ 2-8-0s:
Litra Ma to Narvik,
and 14x Mb to Luleå steam locos, and then 8x 0-10-0 Litra R steam locos were used from 1908 until electrification transferred them to other lines,
and finally to museums in the 70's)
The Norwegian Ofoten Line was electrified in 1923.
Initially SJ's Oe were used throughout until NSB bought 5x similar EL3 (twin) in 1925- and 5x EL4 (single) by -1929.
Changeover between Norwegian and Swedish operation took place at Abisko - where customs / border checks are still made (search dogs on train, etc)
From 1949 'pooling' was in use with alternate trains from NSB and SJ. Upgraded to 3,100 tonne capacity by 1953, EL3s were converted to triples,
and an El4 to a twin (only 3 had survived WW2).
SJ ordered Dm ( later as Dm2, then Dm3 ) and NSB the identical EL12. These were later operated as 4x twins and then became 6 triples.
In the 1060's EL15s were used in pairs. The EL 4 survived until 1954, and the EL3 until 1967. None were preserved. EL12s were retired in 1989/90,
with 1 preserved at the Ofoten museum. EL15s were operated in pairs for Ore trains and matched the Dm3 triple locomotivie of SJ.
Now ORE operation is fully under IORE loco-pairs, with 68-wagon loads - total weight 8,600 tonnes requiring only 12-15 trains a day,
and 790m passing loops.
Using regeneration on the downgrade from the border to Narvik provides sufficient power for the returning emply trains!
2 daily Arctic Rail Express container trains operated by CargoNet carry mainly food north and fish south 1950km, and DB Schenker since 2011.
Covered Auto-transporter wagons/trains too.
SJ again operates 3 daily trains to Narivk from Luleo or Stockholm (sleeper departing 17.00).
(Connex operated it for a few years) Rc series-hauled trains may have 2 or many more coaches. Railcar Units are now also used locally.
NSB Class 68 emus were once used from Narvik in Ofoten Line green livery
Single Track 15kV 16 ²/3Hz AC 30tonne axle load 750+m passing loops Narvik - Kiruna 170km
(Malmberget - Lulea 220km ) Ofoten Line 43km Narvik- Riksgransen (official border)
Sources: LKAB, YouTube, Svenska-Lok, Wikipaedia..
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