106 reindeer run down and killed by trains in four days

Freight trains have killed 106 reindeer in four days after drivers didn’t receive a warning from railway bosses to slow down.

The animals were hit on three occasions this week on land in Kvalforsbrua, North Norway, where 65 were killed on Saturday.

This followed the deaths of 26 on Wednesday and 15 on Thursday despite rail operator Bane Nor telling the landlord trains would drive slowly in the route.

More than 100 reindeer were killed by freight trains in just four days despite owners warning transport operator Bane Nor  

The government transport group had been warned about the danger several times, according to news site Helgelendingen.  

Torstein Appfjell, who has looked after reindeer since he was a boy, was at the scene on Saturday and said it was a catastrophe for people looking after the animals and the wider community. 

‘This is a tragedy for me and the three other reineiers,’ the 59-year-old told news site Aftenposten. 

‘I was on the spot night to Saturday and that was a terrible sight.

‘Reindeer are something special for us who do this. They mean almost everything to us and the animals form the basis for our existence. Such a big recess in our reindeer herd is catastrophic.’ 

One of the reindeer hit on Saturday was dragged along the track by the train according to an owner. 

Many of the animals carry GPS transmitters, which told Mr Appfjell they had descended from the mountains to the railway track.

Owners have been trying to move the herd to the coast for the winter, advising Bane Nor to drive carefully until the reindeer have been moved from the mountains between Eiterstrøm and Mosjøen.  

This reindeer torso and head was found next to the tracks after the train struck animals dead in north Norway

This reindeer torso and head was found next to the tracks after the train struck animals dead in north Norway

But Mr Appfjell says a communication breakdown meant drivers travelled at their usual speed.

‘We received a confirmation from Bane Nor about business activity, but there is obviously a failure in the system,’ he said. 

‘At least the message has not reached the driver. Why is impossible for me to say something about.’ 

A Bane Nor spokesperson says the message was logged and added to its system but did not appear due to a technical failure.

Area Director Thor Brækkan says the provider tried to warn the driver when it became clear the message was not appearing.

‘When it was discovered that the message had disappeared, they tried to call the train,’ he told NRK. ‘Unfortunately, it was too late.’



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