What goes on - where and when?

More than 60% of Norway's largest transport project in recent times is now completed. In Ski, the Østfold Line has been reconstructed and in September the two tunnel drilling machines towards Oslo will break through and complete the last part of the drilling work.

The concrete tunnel at Loenga. Photo: Terje Skåre

The production of the Follo Line takes place from five  rig areas between Oslo and Ski. The Follo Line Project’s social mission is to provide a new double-track line that, together with the Østfold Line, will help expand the region’s residential and commercial areas. We are doing everything we can to ensure the construction keeps to the budget and schedule without compromising quality and safety.

New contracts and breakthrough in 2018
It has been a hectic and exciting year for the Follo Line Project. Two contracts were cancelled, and the measures aimed at getting the work in and near Oslo city centre back on track, have been successful so far. More than 75% of the long tunnel between Ski and Oslo Central Station has been drilled, and in September two of the four tunnel drilling machines will break through. The two northbound machines will then have finished their tunnel work.

The queens arrive in the capital!
The two tunnel drilling machines named “Queen Ellisiv” and “Queen Eufemia” have, since autumn 2016, drilled two tunnels through the Ekeberg Hill. These two ladies will, according to the plan, meet the northern section of the tunnel and breakthrough in September. The northbound tunnel will then be complete, and each machine will have covered the distance of nine kilometres. This is extensive work completed during a period of two years.

After breaking through, the drilling machines will be dismantled in a mountain hall and transported out of the tunnel system. They will leave behind a completed, watertight tunnel ready for the installation of technical railway equipment.

 Maintenance in one of the tunnel boring machines. Photo: Einar Aslaksen

Steady course towards Ski
The southbound machines, named “Anna fra Kloppa” and “Magda Flåtestad”, have already passed below the residential area Bøleråsen in the Municipality of Ski. They will pass below the areas Vevelstadåsen and Sloraveien during the summer. According to plan the machines will pass below Ramstad in the period from the end of August/start of September to the end of October. Our neighbours in Ramstad will receive notification and up-to-date information right after the general holiday period. Bane NOR will also arrange a public meeting at Haugjordet Lower Secondary School on 21th August.

Klick her to se a map that shows where the big tunnel boring machines are at any given time. You may search for your address and measure the distance to the machines.

The southbound tunnel drilling machines will complete their drilling work in 2019. The last section is below a very sparsely populated area.

What will happen next in the long tunnel?
Some blasting work remains for some cross passages in both the southbound and northbound tunnels.This work will continue until the first quarter of 2019. 

After the blasting work, technical railway equipment such as rails and sleepers will be installed. This work will not affect our neighbours who live above the tunnel.

New contractors in Oslo
In January of this year, the Follo Line Project felt obliged to cancel two contracts with the Italian contractor Condotte, which was working at Oslo Central Station, Loenga, the northern section of Ekebergåsen and Sydhavna. The company experienced financial issues that made it impossible for the partnership to continue. The plan is for the project to sign four new contracts during the summer/late summer to complete the work near Oslo city centre.

Preparations are taking place at Oslo Central Station for important construction works that will be completed in the summer weeks while train services are suspended. A lot of construction work will be carried out in the old part of Oslo, Gamlebyen, starting on 23th June and lasting for a period of six weeks. This work is important for the further progress.

Summer works in 2018
The Follo Line Project’s main activity at Oslo Central Station will involve pushing a concrete culvert (short concrete tunnel) under the Østfold Line’s tracks by the old building named Ladegården. This will be carried out using numerous large hydraulic jacks that will push the concrete culvert forwards at the same time as soil and stone masses are removed. This method is not often used in Norway and a specialist company will carry out the work. Groundwork and technical railway works will also be carried out over a large area from Oslo Central Station and along the Østfold Line to Bekkelaget while train services are suspended.

The northern section of the Follo Line’s long tunnel will become visible in the mountain under Mosseveien at the medieval park, Middelalderparken, in July.  Constructions to connecting the Blix Tunnel and the concrete tunnel inbound towards Oslo Central Station, will then commence.

Some blasting work is still taking place in the tunnel’s large hall, Tresporshallen. This will be completed during the summer. The rest of the blasting work inside Ekebergåsen will be completed in the autumn.

The work on casting the 600-metre long concrete tunnel under Middelalderparken will continue during late summer and autumn. At the same time, groundwork and technical railway works will be carried out at both Oslo Central Station and Loenga. General construction with the tunnel at Sydhavna and under Ekebergåsen will continue until summer 2019.

More milestones achieved in Ski
The harsh winter in Ski presented challenges for the project, but the contractor achieved its goals for the work. The Østfold Line has been reconstucted following extensive work that started in 2016. The next milestone was reached on the night before the 17th May. Jernbaneveien was opened.

A train on the Østfold Line crossing right over the mouth of the Follo Line’s tunnel. Photo: Anne Mette Storvik/Bane NOR

What’s happening in Ski this summer?
When rail replacement bus services start this summer, the keywords for the construction work at Ski are groundwork and cabling. The tracks will be overhauled and further upgraded at the rig area in Langhusveien.

The most extensive works will be carried out at Ski Station. These will include digging up the track area so the work of laying new cables, building a drainage system and preparing for the relaying of tracks can be completed. According to the plan, train traffic will be rerouted to the west side in 2019 so that work on the east side can start without interruption. This summer’s works are important with respect to finishing the relaying of track.  Unfortunately, this means we will have to work around the clock to achieve our goals.

Excavators and material transport to and from the area will produce some noise and neighbours will be offered alternative accommodation when the project exceeds the noise limits

The road ahead after the summer
The stairs and parts of the path between Jernbaneveien 2 and 4 will also be closed after the summer because new stairs, a gallery and a green area are going to be built.

The path will be rerouted through the backyard of the Rutheim building. Signs will be posted.  Access to parking and businesses will not be affected. Completion is scheduled for 2018, although changes may occur.

A gold ring found in connection with the Follo Line Project in Gamlebyen in Oslo. Photo: NIKU

A golden age for Norwegian medieval archaeology
The Follo Line Project is an international project that creates collaboration across borders. It has also enabled the project to work alongside others, such as archaeologists who have found new information about Oslo in the Middle Ages.

More than NOK 100 million
Since 2013, the Follo Line Project has contributed more than NOK 100 million to the archaeological excavations in the eldest part of Oslo, Gamlebyen, the most extensive excavations in the capital for over one hundred years. ccording to the archaeologists from the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU), their work has filled in many of the knowledge gaps cthe medieval city and those who lived here.

NIKU will end their excavations in June and then commence the follow-up work phase. All the objects and structures that have been preserved, will later be taken care of by the Museum of Cultural History, to be conserved and stored. The materials will then be available for researchers and those who put together museum exhibitions.

The five years of excavating alongside the Follo Line have been a golden age for Norwegian medieval archaeology, says NIKU.
-We are now looking forward to sharing the results of the excavations and upcoming research work with the public, experts and everyone who has been involved in the Follo Line Project, says NIKU’s project manager, Egil Bauer.

International collaboration and employment
Railway development provides great value creation and employment, also when international contractors win the competition for the main contracts. 107 companies are currently working on the Follo Line Project, including the contractors Acciona Ghella (tunnel drilling) and OHL (subproject Ski). A large number of these subcontractors are Norwegian companies.

A total of 1,678 people is working on the project, in addition to Bane NOR’s client organisation. The construction industry in Norway is international. In the Follo Line Project a total of 39 nationalities were represented in April/May 2018.

Thanks to our neighbours
The neighbours along and across the new line between Oslo and Ski are, to varying degrees, affected by the work on the Follo Line.

Bane NOR wants to apologise for any inconvenience caused and would like to thank all neighbours for their patience and cooperation.  Bane NOR wish you all a pleasant summer!