THE OLD JAERBANEN RAILWAY
The Stretch of railway from Hellvik to Egersund is part of the Jaerbanen
railway, which was built from Egersund to Stavanger between 1874 and 1878.
It was a narrow gauge railway with a gauge of 1067mm, as compared with
1435mm today. Narrow gauge railways wind through the landscape. To avoid
building tunnels through the mountains, the tracks were laid around them.
After the broad gauge railway opened in 1948, large sections of the old
route were no longer needed.
It was not far between the stations and stops along the old Jaerbanen
railway. Transport over land was difficult. The road network was not
well-developed, and it was important to be close to the train. It was offen
hard to travel over land, but easy to transport people and cargo by water.
The watchman's house at Maurholen could accept both passengers and cargo.
This meant that people on Norde Eigerory could benefit from the railway.
People from Eigeroy rowed to Maurholen. Here they could take the train north
or south. After "the people up north" got their own Station, they could
travel from Maurholen all the way to Flekkefjord it they wanted to.
The railway was built at a time when all work was performed by hand and
before concrete was introduced. Large blocks of hewn stone were used when
walls were erected, bridges were built or culverts were laid. There was
widespread use of stonemasonry in Norway through Norwegian and foreign
labourers who built railways and harbours. The foreign labourers were often
from Sweden. Stonemasonry work on this Stretch of railway is of excellent
quality. There are several impressive examples of stonework between Hellvik
and Lauvnessundet in the form of various types of walls, tunnels, cuttings,
etc. This work is visible evidence of the nobility of labour even today.
It is the old line from the 1870s that establishes the foundation for this
walking and cycling trail. The old railway line winds through a rolling
landscape near the sea and is considered by many to be the most beautiful
walking and cycling trail in Dalane.