Did you know that the third-largest city in Norway got a tram line? And the fact that it is narrow gauge too? It is the only one in Norway of its kind. This interurban tram line in Trondheim got 21 stations and is in the public transportation ticket system in the town.
In operation since 1901 in Trondheim
Since 1901, this tramline has been going up and down from Lian every day. First as a mostly single-track route and then slowly sections in the city center and also sections on the route itself got double-track upgrades. It is the only tram line left in Trondheim. Before there were 4 lines in total.
Between 1958 and 1968 the tram network of Trondheim was at its peak and had four lines. After that, car traffic started to grow and grow. And with it, politicians wanted to close down the trams, because they only saw good in car and bus traffic. Still, in 2020, they do, but today we know a lot more than before.
Line 1, Line 2 and Line 3 are closed down, but Graakalbanen is still going strong!:
- Line 1: Ilevolden – Torvet – Lademoen
- Line 2: Elgeseter – Torvet – Lade
- Line 3: Singsaker – Torvet – Jernbanen
- Graakalbanen: Lian – St. Olavs Gate (still in operation)
The line to Singsaker was closed in 1968 while the rest of the network was closed in 1983 and 1988. The line to Lian had a 2 years break before it opened again in 1990 and since then its been running daily up and down to Lian.
It is nice to see that these urban tram lines still run after so many years with only 1 break between 1901 and 2020. It shows how strong the trams can be compared to buses which need to be replaced every 5-6 years. The trams that run up and down on Graakalbanen are more than 25 years old some of them and they have no issues climbing the tracks up to Lian and back down. So it is a huge mystery why this tram network in Trondheim isn’t rebuilt.
The expansion of the tramway in Trondheim from its present terminus at St. Olav’s Gate through the city core to Trondheim Central Station or Nedre Elvehavn onwards to Brattøra and Trondheim Port been a topic for years. This has been supported by the city council, but no definite decision has been made as politicians here just love to stretch the time way too long until the interest dies out. Estimates of costs for the upgrade would cost between 50 and 80 million Norwegian Kroner, with completion in 2009 at the same time as Nordre Avlastningsvei. But now in 2020 nothing seems to have been moved forward at all.
Another plan was to extend the network by building a line from Munkvoll to the new Byåsen Upper Secondary School that also was dropped in 2004 after a heated political debate. Many discussions have led to no action at all in Trondheim which is a city with about 150000 living in the city and that’s really sad.
Graakallbanen in 2020 Tickets and Info
Now in 2020, the company that deals with Graakallbanen is AtB in Trondheim. For some reason, this tramline got 9 as its line number. The stretch today is the same as before. Nothing changed.
The cheapest ticket is 40 NOK. If you buy it from a ticket machine, via SMS or the AtB app for either iOS or Android then it lasts for 1 hour and 30 minutes in total. This is for one zone only. For other prices, please do check their website about the different travel prices here.
So, if you plan to visit Trondheim. Try this unique tram line that is over 100 years old. It doesn’t stop near the central station. You need to walk a bit to reach it but it is in safe walking distance.
Map of Tram Line 9 Graakallbanen in Trondheim
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