100th anniversary of the electrification of the Ofotbanen railway

10 July 2023

100th anniversary of the electrification of the Ofotbanen railway

Monday 10 July marks 100 years since the Ofotbanen railway was opened for electric operation!

In 1923, the section from Narvik to Riksgränsen was electrified, and it was finally possible to run the entire section from Narvik to Luleå by electrically powered trains.

historisk svarthvitt fotografi av elektrisk lokomotiv av typen El.3
Electric locomotie of the type El. 3

Official launch of electric operation

Major festivities were held when the Ofoten Line was opened for electric operation on 10 July 1923. Invitations were sent out to Minister Wefring, Director General of the Norwegian State Railways, railway directors Hoff and Auberg, the county governor and the bishop among others. The Swedish Prime Minister, the Director General of the Swedish Railways and the directors of LKAB were also invited.

Svarthvitt historisk foto: Et flaggpyntet SJ elektrisk.lokomotiv, litra O, foran et NSB-damplok på Narvik stasjon, Ofotbanen.
A decorated SJ electric locomotive, litra O, in front of a NSB steam locomotive at Narvik station, Ofotbanen Railway. The picture is from the opening for electric operation 10th of July 1923

A special train was laid on to transport people to Narvik railway station. There, Minister Wefring gave a speech about the remodelling and declared the railway open for electric operation. The guests then had lunch in the garden outside NSB’s administration building. Later in the day, the guests were transported to Kiruna, where LKAB hosted a dinner, while that evening a party was organised for the railway staff in Narvik.

Svarthvitt historisk foto: Narvik stasjon ofotbanen pyntet persontog, trolig tatt ved den høytidelige åpningen for elektrisk drift 10. juli 1923
Decorated train at Narvik Station. The picture is from the opening for electric operation 10th of July 1923

On the occasion of the 100th anniversary, Narvik Museum has created a brand new exhibition about the electrification of the Ofotbanen! The exhibition opened on June 22 with music and cake.

The 100th anniversary will also be marked on 8th of September at Katterat Station with both a school event during the day and a family event in the afternoon, and an exhibition in the transformer station at Katterat!

Sommerstemning mens et persontog passerer øverst i Norddalen i 1999. To personer og en hund sitter på en knaus i forgrunnen
Electric train in Norddalen in 1999. Photo: Lars Slettjord

Read more about the electrification of the Ofotbanen railway here:

Electrification of the Ofotbanen railway

Electrification of the Ofoten Line – In 1923, the Ofoten Line switched from steam locomotives to electrically powered locomotives.

Read more about Narvik Museum here:

Narvik Museum

The spectacular Ofotbanen railway and iron ore trains, Narvik city’s development and industry in addition to travelling exhibits.

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