THE RJUKAN RAILWAY FROM 2015 ON UNESCO’s WORLD HERITAGE LIST
Norsk Hydro’s transportation system
On August 9th1909, King Haakon the 7th officially opened Hydro’s new combined railway and ferry line. This construction represented a dramatic leap forward in engineering technology. Industrial products and passengers were transported from Rjukan across Lake Tinnsjø to Notodden by rail and railway ferries. From Notodden, the journey continued to
the coast, thereby linking the secluded Vestfjorddalen to the world markets.
The Second World War
The railway and ferries played a vital role during WWII. The final military operation involved the sinking of S/S Hydro in 1944 and destroying its shipment of heavy water. S/S Hydro still lies at the bottom of Lake Tinnsjø at a depth of 430 m.
World Heritage recognition
The railway and the two ferries S/S Ammonia og M/S Storegut were all was listed as protected, historical objects by the Directorate for Cultural Heritage in 2009. In July 2015 the Rjukan Line was included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List together with the industrial heritage of Rjukan/Notodden.
At Mæl Stasjon, The Rjukan line offers:
- Guided tour on S/F Ammonia and M/F Storegut
- A trip on Lake Tinnsjø with M/F Storegut during summer season
- A trip by train (museum railway) between Rjukan and Mæl
- Mæl Station Café open during summer season