Rolling Cities on Rails

Image courtesy of Jagnafalt Milton, Stockholm.

The Stockholm design firm of Jagnafalt Milton won third place in a competition for new development proposals for the city of Åndalsnes, Norway. They want to put the whole town on rails.

It seems Åndalsnes is an old railway town and a resort town. Jagnafalt Milton believes the existing railway infrastructure can be used to create a city whose buildings are repositioned based on the seasons. According to today’s article on

It proposed designs for rail-mounted single- and double-birth cabins, along with a two-storey suite. It also imagined lookout towers, kitchens, lifeguard stations, changing rooms, and — in true Swedish spirit — a sauna.

The idea, says the agency, was to use the city’s railway infrastructure — left behind from the days when it was an maritime construction town, building oil rigs — as a basis for its future. Konrad Milton, one of the partners in the company, told “As we see it there are two major benefits. First, it’s easier to put buildings on existing train tracks than to demolish the tracks and build regular building foundations. Secondly the city of Åndalsnes has different needs depending on season.”

He continued: “Summertime the city is full of tourists from cruise ships and hikers — during this time there is a need for hotels and shopping. Wintertime the climate is harsh and there is less activity but a need for climate shelters and public indoor activities. By changing the building line-up according to seasons and events the city can become truly flexible.”


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