Within Porsgrunn town there is another canal for small crafts, 2,5 meters high, 3,3 meters wide and with a draft of 2,2 meters. This is between the mainland and Herøy, across Gunnekleivfjorden and through a tunnel.
Canalport in Skien
SS Henrik Ibsen is nowadays cruising in The Telemark canal. It used to traffic different routes in the Göteborg archipelago called Styrsö.
The canal upstreams Skotfoss
The port in Dalen
Høynesodden lighthouse close to Dalen in lake Bandak is the highest positioned lighthouse in Norway.
Number of locks
Max free height
3,1 / 2,5 m
16,0 / 12,8 m
The last journey:
Another chapter of European industrial history has come to an end. The closing of Union Fabrikker in Skien also means that no more timber will be freighted across Norsjø, or in Norway.
At one knot the tug Triset takes 5 500 ton timber across Norsjø from Notodden to Skien. That is 360 bundles of spruce. The same cargo would need 180 lorries. The transport starts at Notodden and is aimed to the Union Fabrikker in Skien, were it will be transformed to paper for books. This is the last time timber will be hauled across Norsjø.
Last year The owner Norske Skog, decided to close the papermill Union in Skien. 400 workers lose their jobs, including those working with the floating.
And those are the last "floaters" in the last on the last active floating river in Europe. The haul is divided up as the Løveid lock in Skotfoss not can take all in one go. The last years between 12 and 15 hauls have been done from Notodden to Skien. Hauls with 400 bundles of timber correspond to 100 000 cubic meter.
Very seldom the bundles are ripped so the workers have to collect all loose timber again. Skien is 10 meters lower then Norsjø, so the timber has to go through the three locks. The locks are big enough for five bundles at a time and the capacity is 80 bundles every day.
Downstreams the lock the tug Maar takes the bundles to the Union factory.
When all timber has arrived in Skien the crew of floaters will work all spring in 2006 to collect timber in the lakes och to remove all floating equipments. When that is done the floating tools will be set up on the wall for the a last time and the 300 years old floating traditions in Telemark has come to the end.
(Rewritten photoreport by Rein Borgen in Aftenposten Magazin Feb. 10 2006.)
The Telemark canal company have a website here.
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This page was modified at 12-08-06