The Ofoten Line (Ofotbanen) is a 43 km long railway from the port of Narvik to the Swedish border. It continues into Northern Swedish territory. Ofotbanen is recognised as one of the most beautiful railways in Europe.
The line opened in 1902 after four years of hectic and very challenging construction work, in dramatic mountainous surroundings and in a harsh Northern Norway climate. Narvik was chosen as the secure ice-free harbour that would enable a stable export gate to the world markets of iron ore from the mines in Kiruna, Sweden. This railway corridor was so important to Nazi-Germany that Hitler decided to invade Norway in April, 1940 to secure access to the iron ore. Norwegian and Allied forces retaliated the attack in the Battle of Narvik and gave Hitler his first defeat in WWII. After two months of fighting, the Allied expeditionary force withdrew and the Norwegians were forced to surrender.
This video is from a ride on the passenger train from Narvik to the border station called Riksgränsen.
The travelogue from my visit offers more background as well as practical information.
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