Åsen Emergency Communication Center
Åsen Emergency Communication Center. Photo: Pål Stagnes

Doomsday Central – Åsen Emergency Communication Center

Behind the locked steel door in a backyard at Torshov in Oslo you will find the emergency communication center. From this premises the telephone communication would be secured in event of war or enemy sabotage.

In a backyard at Torshov in Oslo there is a steep stairway down to a bomb shelter. Behind the shelter’s locked steel door you will find two rooms. This is the Åsen Emergency Communication Center.

13 secret emergency communication centers

In 1962 Televerket started the construction of 13 secret communication centers spread across the country. These centers would ensure the telephone comminication in the event of war or enemy sabotage.

On small sign with faded blue lettering you can read «Nittedal» and «Linderudkollen». With high probability the operators could connect with other clandestine networks.

Historians believes that the operators could connect to a secret central previously laying in an apartment builing at Linderudkollen. At Linderudkollen Forsvaret (The Norwegian Armed Forces) had their own, separate phone system bypassing the public system. If proven necessay they could be connected.

Fears of global nuclear war

The reason for the establishment of emergency communication centers were the Cuban Missile Crisis and the fear of a global nuclear war.

After the Soviet withdrawal of nuclear missiles from Cuba the facility was closed. Apart from some assembly operators which secretly conducted maintenance, the facility stood empty until it was «rediscovered» by chance in 1995.

Åsen Emergency Communication Center is the only complete emergency communication center found.

Forgotten for over 30 years

For over 30 years Åsen Emergency Communication center had been forgotten.

When you enters into the center it is as if time has stood still. You will find old-fashioned telephone exchangers and chairs wrapped in plastic. On the desks you see old headsets and phones with turntables. Everything is as it was left at that time over 50 years ago.

The emergency centers was strictly secret. Anyone who would work there needed to have a security clearance. The centers were kept so secret that they were only known by a few politicians, selected peaks in Televerket, the Intelligence Service and the Armed Forces.

There are little or no information about these centers. Neither contingency plans or other documents saying how or when these facilities should be used.

The facility is preserved

The facility is incorporated into the conservation plan from 1995, but it is still unknown what is going to happen with the underground rooms at Torshov.

 

NRK series «Secret Rooms» has visited Åsen Emergency Communication Center. You can watch the epsiode on NRK Nett-TV:

icon-car.pngKML-LogoFullscreen-LogoGeoJSON-LogoGeoRSS-Logo
Nødsentralen Åsen

loading map - please wait...

Nødsentralen Åsen 59.938842, 10.777265 Nødsentralen Åsen