Hiking Along the Ofot Line

(Björnfjell - Katterat, 11 km one way, 1995)

A small map can be found on a separate page.

The Ofot Line (in Norway) or Malmbanan (in Sweden) between Kiruna and Narvik was built until 1903 to transport the iron ore from the mines in Kiruna and nearby cities to the harbour of Narvik. Ore trains as well as passenger trains operate on this line.

Locomotive in Kiruna

In 1992 we were in Kiruna for the first time, and the old style electro locomotives were very common, pulling trains with iron ore from Kiruna to Narvik. We spent some days in Abisko, before we started to hike the Kungsleden trail. A path along the railroad in the Norwegian mountains seemed to be good for a day hike. The old construction road is used by hikers and bikers, and the name "Rallarvägen" reminds of the original purpose of this trail. Various tours are offered for tourists from Narvik, you can, for instance, go with a tourist train to Björnfjell, hike down down to Rombaksfjord and return with a boat to Narvik. These hikes were organized by the Statskog Troms (Forest Department), but I do no have up-to-date information. You can call the Tourist Office in Narvik, for instance.

 Ore train in Björnfjell

We started our hike in Björnfjell. You can reach it with one of the trains or with a car. Use, for instance, the BD6 (Abisko-Kebnekaise-Narvik) map.You can expect rain with a high probability. Abisko has less rain than Frankfurt in the middle of Germany, because it is in the shadow of the coastal mountains. But in the mountains around Riksgränsen there is a lot of rain.

  Ore train near Katterat

Although it was raining, we had a nice tour along the railroad line down to Katterat and back to Björnfjell. The distance Björnfjell - Katterat is 11 km. You can do it one way and take a train to get back. Most of the old electro locomotives are out of operation now, I saw only one in 1996.

  Passenger train in Abisko (1995)

Three passenger trains per day operate between Kiruna and Narvik. In 2000, the passenger service was taken over by Tågkompaniet.