Til hovedinnhold

Østbanehallen throughout the years

For more than 160 years has Østbanehallen been in the heart of Oslo, and been many people´s first encounter with the capital. It has been built, expanded and restored, and Østbanehallen´s long history is closely linked to Norway´s railway history. Most know it best as Østbanestasjonen, and still remember when the hall was a railway station.

1851 Norway´s first railway track

The Norwegian government gave a clear signal to build Norway´s first railway track. The track was intended to run between Eidsvoll and Oslo, and was to be called Hovedbanen.

1854 Hovedbanestasjon opens

Hovedbanen´s end-station is ready and will be named Hovedbanestasjonen.

Hovedbanestasjonen was built in red brick and was designed by Heinrich E. Schirmer and Wilhelm von Hanno. The location was not chosen coincidentally. The station was to be located in a straight line from the castle, which was completed in 1849. Photo: Knud Knudsen (1871) / Oslo City Museum.

1872 New name

Vestbanestasjonen (the west railway station) opened in Vika and serves as the end-station for Drammensbanen. Hovedbanen (the main railway station) changes its name to Østbanestasjonen.

1879 The station expands

Østfoldbanen opens, and it is decided that Østbanestasjon will expand.


1882 The new Østbanestasjon is completed

The new Østbanestasjon was completed. The red stone was removed and the hall got two new wings in plastered brick, facing the harbor and towards Karl Johan.

This is what the main railway station looked like in 1897, when King Oscar II celebrated his jubilee. Photo: Severin Worm-Petersen / Oslo City Museum.

1907 Havnebanen opens

The distance between Østbanestasjonen at Bjørvika and Vestbanestasjonen at Vika was significant. Which is why Havnebanen, which runs from Østbanehallen, opens along the harbour, via Vippetangen and Akershus Fortress, and ends at Vestbanestasjonen. The train was a familiar sight in the cityscape. It stopped the traffic at Rådhusplassen, and moved so slowly that a man with a bell could walk in front and announce the arrival of the train.

1942 Sabotage in the hall

A resistance movement group called the Osvald-group dressed up in Hird uniforms and planted a bomb in the Østbanestasjon to scare the NS people. Four people were injured and the station was set on fire. The sabotage was later described as “the first significant act of sabotage”.

Large parts of Østbanestasjonen was blocked off after the sabotage on May 14th 1942. The monument outside Østbanehallen, with a hammer crushing a swastika, is in memory of the Osvald group and the railway workers who sacrificed their lives in the resistance struggle during the second world war. Photo: Adolf Beck - UHB collection /MiA.

1970 The Grefsen accident

On December 2nd, the airbrakes were not connected to a cargo train at Grefsen station, and the 300 tons train slammed into the station hall. The locomotive driver Kjell Berge joined the train all the way onto the platform in an attempt to slow down the train for as long as possible. Finally he jumped off the train, however it was too late and he died in the fall.

The Grefsen accident caused extensive damage to the station. Photo: Norway Railway Museum.

1980 Oslo Central Station opens

The Oslo tunnel opens and Havnebanen is closed down. In addition, Oslo Central Railway Station opens and replaces Østbanestasjonen, which also changes its name to Østbanehallen. This remains empty while Oslo S is under development.

Østbanehallen in 1980. Photo: Henrik Ørsted /Oslo City Museum.

1986 Shopping center

Østbanehallen is converted into a shopping center.

2013 The hall begins its renovations

It is decided that Østbanehallen will be restored, which will be the most extensive upgrade of the building in 30 years.


2015 The new Østbanehallen opens

Østbanehallen, as we know it today, opens. The new hall will once again become a gathering place, with many restaurants and shops.

Both the inner and outer facade, as well as the hall itself, are protected. The floor at Olivia is one of the original details, which has been preserved. During the restoration process, both the national and city heritage management offices were actively involved to ensure that nothing was lost.

Østbanehallen in 2016, in it new but preserved suit. The "boxes" where Yo!Sushi and Steam Coffee and sandwich bar are located today is meant to represent the train carriages that stood in the hall when it was used as a railway station.

Would you like to dine in historic surroundings? Book a table at one of our restaurants.