In November 1896 a 78-km (48,5 miles) long Setesdalsbanen was opened up to ordinary service between Kristainsand and Byglandsfjord. The railway line was built to link the Setesdal to the coastal town of Kristiansand. With this town's port and connections to other Norwegian coastal towns and Europe, it opened up a valley, which up to that time had been very isolated. The gauge chosen, 3'6", was commonly used at the time. During its heyday it extended over 1300-km (800 miles), mostly on single isolated lines. The line is open during the summer season (June, July and August) running trains with steam engines and old wooden bodied coaches offering a journey on a railway typical of its time with sharp curves, a bridge spanning the river, a tunnel and a snowshed. Most of the time running parallel to the river Otra.
The Norwegian National Rail Administration is responsible for the management and the national railway network, on behalf of the Ministry of Transport and Communication. The Norwegian railway network counts 4087 kilometres. The network counts 2807 bridges and 704 tunnels.