Another reindeer herd hit by train

Sami people ReiindeerSami people with Reindeer: Photo:

Yet another reindeer herd hit Monday morning

During a day after the last reindeer herd was run over, another group was hit by the train on the Nordland railway on Monday morning. The county governor is very worried.


– The events along the Nordlands railway in recent weeks emphasize the need for more fences to be built to prevent collisions. In order to solve the acute situation, it is also important to have a good dialogue between the reindeer owners and Bane Nor to do what is possible to get the reindeer groups away from the railways, states county governor Hill-Marta Solberg in  Nordland.

Around ten reindeer were Monday morning hit between Oteråga and Tverrlandet, two miles east of Bodø, according to Bane Nor. The collision comes on top of several similar accidents in recent weeks. Last Sunday a passenger train on the way from Bodø to Trondheim drove straight into a reindeer group of 80 animals at Lønsdal in Saltdal in Nordland.

Not notified

– It is regrettable. There was no warning about reindeer on this part of the route. We rely on being notified by the reindeer district of where the animals are to prevent collisions, says, Area Director in Bane Nor, Thor Brækkan, on Sunday’s event.

After the event, the speed is reduced on a twenty kilomter  long stretch. Bane Nor is now working on a revised action plan to reduce the number of tame reindeer accidents on the Nordland railway.

– We look at whether there are technical solutions for automatic detection and alert when animals move towards the track, says Brækkan.

The reindeer owners in the area believe the only solution to prevent more reindeer herds from being hit by train is fences.

Fences on Saltfjellet

The county governor of Nordland sent as late as November 29 a letter to the Ministry of Transport, where they request that the already planned fence from Mosjøen to Salmonforsen be built as quickly as possible.

– After the last collisions on Saltfjellet, it is also important to build fences here, says Solberg.

In 2010, a working group for the County Governor of Nordland, then the National Rail Administration, NSB, Saltdal municipality and Saltfjellet reindeer district recommended priority fences on the stretch between Lønsdal station and Russånes, where Sunday’s accident took place.

According to the county governor, fences were built last winter on the southernmost part of the stretch, from Lønsdal station to Kjemånasen tunnel.

In total, around 200 reindeer have been hit and killed by trains along the Nordland railway in the last couple of weeks.


NTB Scanpix / Norway Today