© 2018 by Film Rjukan

Boats and Trains

For centuries, the only way into Tinn was to brave travels over the high mountain plateau of Hardangervidda, Then, In 1905 industrialist Sam Eyde arrived declaring that he was going to create new industries driven by hydroelectric power - a radical new concept.

 

In less than a decade, thundering waterfalls were harnessed, massive tunnel systems were carved out through miles of bedrock, railroad tracks laid through the remote gorges and mountain passes, and the modern ships were constructed to service the worlds most modern power plants and factories in the high mountains of the Rjukan Region.

Visually and functionally, ships, trains, railways and related facilities located in the Film Region Rjukan are stunning and have been used in various films, advertisements and other productions. 

 

Thousands of laborers had built the hydroelectric power plants, transmission lines, factories, transport systems and towns to manufacture nitrogen fertilizer that would be shipped to the world as an answer to the hunger crisis of the early 20th century.

 

World-class trains and ships were constructed in Film Region Rjukan as the 2nd Industrial Revolution began. You will find them here still. 

 

Your opportunity to create a new visual film world awaits.

THE RAIL LINES

The Rjukan Line

Officially opened by King Håkon in 1909, this railroad line was owned by Norsk Hydro, and was the lifeline of Rjukan production to the world.  Running from Rjukan (Mæl Station) in the North to Notodden in the south, the line was the first standard-gauge railway in Norway to be electrified, setting the standard for electrification in Europe.

 

In just 18 months, the laborers – called Rallers – built 52 kilometers of railways through some of the most difficult terrain in Europe. The Rjukan railway / Tinnos railway was specifically built by Norsk Hydro to transport millions of tons of nitrogen fertilizer and other products from the massive production facilities in Rjukan south to Notodden. 

 

In Notodden the products were loaded onto boats and barges and shipped to the world, marking a turning point for humanity - so important in ending the international hunger disaster of the early 1900s.

 

The Vemork – Mæl Track

The 5.2 kilometer (3 miles) rail track that was in operation covering the 5.2 kilometers from Rjukan station to Vemork was completed in January 1909 and was the steepest railway in Norway. Shut down in 1991, there are plans to make this operational once more. The visual film and photo opportunities still exists to this day.  

 

For filmmaking, a variety of locomotives, rail cars and equipment are available – as well as the locals as extras. Contact us for more information regarding the colorful and historical railway stories and infrastructure from Film Region Rjukan.

BOATS LARGE AND SMALL

Film Region Rjukan includes Tinn Lake as well as Northern Europe’s highest mountain plateau – Hardangervidda - that lies over one thousand meters over sea level with over 500 fishing lakes of different sizes. Here is a wonderland of water and boats – ready to be a part of your film project, or simply assist in tackling your logistics challenges.

 

The Historic Rail Ferries

The railways alone were not nearly enough to ship the fertilizer and other products from Rjukan, the step mountain sides along Tinn Lake hindering construction of new and expanded railway lines. 

 

 Through the years, a number of ships were built, with the harbor town of Mæl on the shores of Tinn Lake becoming the bustling hub of shipping activity that went 24 hours a day. Sailors, captains, engineers and laborers called Mæl their home as rail ferries such as Rjukanfoss, S/F Hydro (1914), D/F Ammonia (1929), and M/F Storegut (1956) were built and put into service.

 

S/F Hydro famously was sabotaged in the early morning hours of February 20, 1944 as it was carrying a large shipment of heavy water to Nazi research headquarters in Germany. 

 

Ammonia is anchored at Mæl, currently under renovation. Storegut is operational, certified for up to 249 passengers, making daily runs in-season between Mæl in the north and Tinnoset in the south of Tinn Lake.   Both ships are important parts of the Rjukan/Notodden Industrial World Heritage complex and excellent film objects.

 

Though the Hydro lies in the deepest depths of Tinn Lake, and Rjukanfoss was scrapped in 1969, sister ships D/F Ammonia and M/F Storegut are readily available as film set locations. In addition, the villages of Mæl in the north and Tinnoset in the south make unique film locations.