When electricity came to the capital of Norway in 1894, the horsecar lines quickly disappeared. It was a new era for the city’s transport system and new important tram lines were stablished. However, when the restricted car sales after WW II were released in 1960, several lines were closed down. An emerging environmental awareness and oil crisis in the early 70s gave urban development a different direction.
However, the history of Oslo Tramway and Oslo Metro goes back to 1868, when the engineer Jens Theodor Paludan Vogt and the architect Paul Due applied for a concession. The application was rejected because the city council felt that the streets were too narrow. They made a second application in April 1874, and this time permission was granted.
Long cars were delivered from the United States and arrived in Christiania on 31 August 1875.
The first electric tramways
In 1894 Kristiania Elektriske Sporvei built the first electric tramways west from the city center, and within six years all tramways in Oslo were electric. The tramcars in Oslo provide a critical link to many parts of the city. Popular destinations reachable by tram are for instance the Vigeland Sculpture Park, Bislet Stadium, Aker Brygge, the Ekeberg Sculpture Park, Grünerløkka and most attractions in the city center.
The Holmenkollen Line
The Holmenkollen Line was the first light rail line, which opened in 1898 and ran west of the city. In 1912, Holmenkolbanen started construction of a 2.0-kilometre (1.2 mi) long tunnel from Majorstuen station to Nationaltheatret station, with an intermediate Valkyrie Plass station. This was the first part of the Common Tunnel and was blasted through the rock beneath the city.
In 1924 the two private tram companies were taken over by the municipality and became Oslo Sporveier. By 1975 Oslo Sporveier had bought the private Holmenkollbanen and other private companies and gradually expanded the city tram network.
The Oslo Metro
The Oslo Metro opened in 1966, consisting of a line through the Common Tunnel to Jernbanetorget and the upgraded Lambertseter light rail line. In 1987, the Common Tunnel was completed. From 1993, the western lines were upgraded and connected to the Metro, allowing Metro trains to run through the city center. The Metro’s Ring Line was completed in 2006.
The Oslo Transport Museum is located in Gardeveien 15 at Majorstuen in Oslo. The museum operates historic trams on Oslo’s network on every first Sunday of the month. The historic tram usually departs from Stortorvet (in the loop across the square) at 12:00, 13:00 and 14:00 towards Majorstuen, where you can visit the museum.
By Tramcar in Oslo
Motorcar no. 70 and trailer no. 647 from 1913 are regular participants on the Majorstuen Ring. The tram stops at all tram stops along the line.
Please note that the historic tram may be cancelled on short notice due to technical issues or lack of personnel. But the museum does its best to avoid cancellations.
By Tramcar in Oslo, compiled and edited by Tor Kjolberg