High-speed test train derails in Norway

Norwegian rail operator NSB has postponed the introduction of a new type of high-speed train after a crash on a test run left five people injured on Wednesday morning.

High-speed test train derails in Norway
Photo: Peder Gjersøe/Scanpix

NSB said there were five people on board the train when it derailed on a stretch of track between Nykirke and Holmstrand, south of Oslo. Having come off the rails, the train crashed into a telephone mast and a bank of rock.

All five were injured in the accident. Initial reports said a 56-year-old man had been seriously hurt, but his condition was described as stable by Ullevål hospital on Wednesday afternoon.
The train was travelling at a speed of around 100 kilometres per hour when it came off the tracks near Nykirke station, local newspaper Tønsbergs Blad reports. The cause of the derailment is not yet known.

”We’ve driven these trains and tested them for thousands of kilometres already. That’s why its important for us to discover what happened,” Myhre told newspaper VG.

The train was part of NSB's new Flirt (Fast Light Innovative Regional Train) fleet, a model made by Swiss firm Stadler. The new trains had been scheduled to start running on regional and local networks across Norway from February 29th.
”The start date for when the new trains will become operational has been postponed indefinitely,” NSB spokesman Håkon Myhre told national broadcaster NRK after the accident.

NSB has ordered 50 Flirt trains from Stadler at a cost of 4.2 billion kroner ($730 million). The Norwegian operator also an option to buy a further 100 trains.

Flirt trains can reach a maximum speed of 200 kilometres per hour.

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Man dies in fall from popular Norwegian mountain ridge

A man in his late seventies was killed after falling around ten metres on the Besseggen mountain ridge in Oppland county on Thursday, police have confirmed.

Man dies in fall from popular Norwegian mountain ridge
Afile photo of Besseggen. Photo: Lise Åserud/NTB Scanpix

The man is thought to have died instantly from injuries sustained in the fall, NRK reports.

“He fell down the slope injured his head on a rock,” Jo Øien of the Innlandet police district told the broadcaster.

Police were alerted to the accident at 11:30am on Thursday. The man was reportedly walking with family when he fell around ten metres from the Besseggen ridge.

“Nodody saw exactly what happened so we don’t know whether, for example, he tripped. The wind was not much of a factor,” Øien added.

A helicopter was despatched to rescue the man but his life could not be saved.

One of Norway’s most popular mountain routes, Besseggen receives up to 60,000 visitors annually.

Located in the Jotunheimen region, the ridge is 1,743 metres above sea level and splits the Gjende and Bessvatnet lakes. At the narrow, middle part of the bridge, the drop down to the Gjende lake is almost 400 metres.

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