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Nelaug and the railway

Above:The Railwaystation in the winter. In the winter the railway workers has to handle a lot of snow.

Above: The railwaystation

Nelaug is the village in which we live, but also a railway station on the  Sørland line. It lies by the river Nidelva immediately south of Lake Nelaug.
The station is a junction. The Sørland line and the Arendal  line meet here, and passengers going from Oslo, Kristiansand or  Stavanger to Arendal, or vice versa, change trains at Nelaug.
The  railway came to Nelaug in 1910 when the line from Arendal to Åmli was opened. It was extended to Treungen in 1913 and received its name, the  Treungen line, then. The first stop at Nelaug lay by the lake where the beach lies today. The small station building which stood there still  exists; it was moved to Flaten in 1962.
The Sørland line reached Nelaug in 1935, and today's station was built where the Sørland and  Treungen lines intersected. The railway company built houses for their employees in the hillside behind the station, and that was the beginning of the village as we know it today.
The Sørland line was extended to Kristiansand in 1938, and from then on Nelaug had railway lines in four directions as one of only three stations in the country.
The line from Nelaug to Treungen closed down in 1967, but the first eight  kilometres of the track, up to Simonstad, were kept as a siding. From the sawmill there trains loaded with timber and sawdust ran daily until  1998. In recent years there have been sporatic transportations of timber, and the siding is formally not closed.
The line from Nelaug to Arendal was renamed the Arendal line in 1967. It was threatened with closure in the 1980s, but instead underwent modernisation and  electrification, finished in 1996. Traffic today is good and increasing.
Nelaug has at times been a busy railway station, employing around 30 in peak  years. Nowadays peace and quiet has entered the scene, but trains still stop here, and six operators from the Norwegian National Rail Administration keep the station manned around the clock except for the  night between Saturday and Sunday. Unlike what is common today, the station is not prepared for Centralized Traffic Control, and therefore  must be manned due to the operation of the trains on the line.

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