The Mine Railway

The railway is going to be an important part of a vivid and exciting mine museum that may constitute a basis for new tourism. The small trains on the mine area and on the track between the ore processing plant and the ore shipping dock at Grunnavågsneset was a pronounced element that is fondly remembered by many islanders. In addition a functional railway represents an important part of our techno-cultural heritage.

The railway is a narrow, 600 mm-gauge one, the sole dimension used at Stordø Kisgruber. Primarily, we have built a railway from the bathhouse site to the drift opening behind the carpenters’ shop, a distance of 250 meters plus side tracks up to the locomotive-and-wagon shed. Furthermore, trains can be run 100 meters into this drift and 50 meters into the drift by the shaft tower. Later a railway is to be built from the secondary power station by Storavatnet and up to the mining area, a distance of almost 600 meters.

The railway will form a natural connection line for a number of the old buildings that lie on the mine surface level. They all present their own story from the mining days, – the hoist building, the mine captains’ office, the shaft tower and its ore crusher, the smithy and the carpenters’ shop. The future railway from Storavatnet will connect the processing plant level, the former cooperative society shop, the administration building and the mine park to the rest of the museum.

Up to now three wagons for passenger transport have been built by collective work. The continuing job of digging, gravelling and track laying is organized in the same way. Nittedal Torvindustri in Solør and Os Council have given us quite a number of rails. Sleepers are cut in lengths at Litlabø sawmill.

Our locomotives:

Name Brand Serial no/year Type Weight Condition
Geito O&K Montania ?/1940 Diesel MD2 4 t In use.
Blåmann Levahn 476/1972 Diesel – hydrostatic 3,5 t In use.
Bukken Levahn 160/1953 Diesel – «6TD» 6 t Being repaired.
Oksen Levahn 179/1955 Diesel – «8TD» 8 t Being repaired.

“Geito” (The Goat) has impressively been restored from the status of a wreck by Matthias Richter and Feldbahnschauanlage Glossen, Germany. The locomotive is completely like the old “Geito” that used to run at Litlabø in the 1940s and 50s. “Bukken” (The Billygoat) is a gift from Sunnhordland Kraftlag and was used in tunnel work at Blåfalli hydroelectric project, Kvinnherad. Two similar locomotives were in the 1960s operated as shunting locomotives at the ore processing plant level and at the Grunnavågneset dock. “Blåmann” (Blue Man – a well-known name for a billygoat) was a gift from Spenncon Nordvest at Hjørungavåg, and “Oksen” (the Ox) we got from the Lommedalen Railway. That locomotive was originally used at Odda Smelteverk.