Technical Tours

Technical Tour to Røros

We will visit the mining town Røros that was added to UNESCO’s list of cultural heritage sites in 1980. The foundation stone for the Røros community was Røros Copper Works.

According to a local legend, the reindeer hunter and farmer Hans Olsen Aasen (1557-1673) was hunting up in Storvola one day in 1644, a mountain range one mile east of Røros. Here he shot a reindeer goat. In the death struggle, the reindeer kicked moss and heather on the ground and Hans caught sight of a shining rock. This was found by the first copper stone that gave rise to Røros Copper Works. The first furnace building in Røros was completed in 1646.

When we are arriving Røros we will first have a guided tour in the Olav´s Mine. There has been mining in the Røros region since the 1640’s. The tour begins in the mining museum, with an introduction to the region’s geology, and how the mines were operated. Together with a guide, we walk 500 m underground through tunnels in Nyberget Mine and Olav’s Mine and 50 m down to the massive Miner’s Hall. Sound effects and lighting add to the authentic feel.

Technical tour to the Old mine and Meldal village museum

The Orkla Industrial museum shows exhibitions in the Information centre in Løkken Verk and runs the Thamshavn railway, the Old mine and Meldal village museum. When we arrive we will have a guided tour in the Old mine, followed by a train trip to the Meldal village museum to show how an old Norwegian village could look like.   

The Old mine is the oldest parts of the Løkken mine, and has a large underground cavern, Fagerlisalen, where the miners once worked. It is also appropriately known as the ‘Cathedral of labour and toil’. There, miners would have strived to earn their living by extracting the ore from the hard rock. This was done by fire-setting, which would have involved setting large fires close to the rock face. The resulting thermal stresses would have caused cracking. After the fires had died down and the smoke had been ventilated, the miners would brake up the loosened rock with picks. Pieces of rock containing ores would then have been carried up and out of the mine shaft, and new supplies of firewood taken down. Hence, over time, the mine gradually increased in size. 

The Thamshavn railway was built to transport the ore from the Løkken mine down to Thamshavn for shipping elsewhere. When the railway was opened in 1908, it was Norway’s first electric railway. Today, Thamshavn Railway is the world’s oldest railway running on alternating current. It goes from the Old Mines in Løkken Verk to Bårdshaug, a 22 kilometer long ride.

Meldal village museum is an open-air museum. Orkla Industrial museum give guided tours indoors and outdoors in the summer season. Meldal village museum is built around the collection after Dr. Eilert Støren came to Meldal in 1889. Støren had great interest in the history and culture of Meldal. When Støren died, Meldal municipality bought the collections and started to build the village museum in 1931. All houses in the open-air museum are from Meldal.

Technical tour to Leirfossene Hydro Power Plant

We will organize a half-day guided tour to Leirfossene Hydro Power Plant.

The Leirfossene power plant is an underground run-of-river plant located on the lower part of the Neavassdraget watercourse (Nidelva River) in Trondheim Municipality. Leirfossene represents a typical state-of-the-art Norwegian hydro power plant.

The power plant has an installed capacity of 45 MW and an annual average production of 150 GWh.

The power plant uses a gross height of fall of 61 metres. The water is transferred by shaft and tunnel from the intake reservoir Lake Øvre Leirfoss and down to the power plant. From there the water goes through an approximately 1.5 km-long outlet tunnel that discharges downstream in Lake Nedre Leirfoss.

Generator hall in the new Leirfossene Power plant

Leirfossene power plant was commissioned in October 2008 after two years of construction. It is built inside the mountain and replaced both the Øvre Leirfoss and Nedre Leirfoss power plants from 1901 and 1910 respectively.

The two old plants were not demolished but converted into small power plants that utilize the minimum water discharge that flows in the Nidelva riverbed parallel to the tunnel system for the new Leirfossene plant.

The old Nedre Leirfossene power plant

The plants are owned and operated by Statkraft