The railway in the Nordic countries. Norway.

Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland want to improve theie railway network. Despite the high degree of development of Norway, its transport infrastructure needs to be adapted to a growing population and adverse geographical conditions. The Government has launched an ambitious modernization program that offers multiple opportunities for international companies.
Despite the high degree of development of Norway, its transport infrastructure needs to be adapted to a growing population and adverse geographical conditions. The Government has launched an ambitious modernization program that offers multiple opportunities for international companies.

The Norwegian rail network consists of 4,114 kilometres of standard gauge lines, of which 242 km is double track and 64 kilometres are High Speed (210 km / h).

The entire network is owned by the Norwegian National Rail Administration, while all passenger trains on domestic routes, except the Airport Express Train, are operated by the company Norges Statsbaner (NSB). Investment in new infrastructure and maintenance is financed by the state budget, and subsidies are provided for passenger train operations. NSB operates long-distance trains, including night trains, regional services and four commuter train systems, around Oslo, Trondheim, Bergen and Stavanger.

Despite the high degree of development of Norway, its network of transport infrastructure needs to be adapted to a growing population and adverse geographical conditions. The Government has launched an ambitious modernization program that offers multiple opportunities for international companies who want to participate.

With almost 400,000 km2, a geography riddled with lakes and fjords and an extreme climate, the development of the Norwegian infrastructure has been a need that has been constantly postponed due to its, but has been widely demanded by the population as a means to articulate the country.

We must highlight the poor development of the railway and, especially, roads, while airport infrastructure, with the aircraft as the transport mean preferred by the Norwegians, and shipping, in a country with a strong fishing and offshore industry, are in much better conditions, being in line with one of the most prosperous economies in the world.

National Transport Plan
Aware of the challenge for economic and social structure, and pressure from population growth experienced in recent years, the Norwegian Government has made infrastructure developments in the centre of the agenda through the fourth National Transport Plan, corresponding to the period 2014-2023.

This public investment is 50% higher than the previous, reaching a budget of 58,800 million euros allocated to rail and roads. To this should be added 11,350 million obtained through the installation of tolls.

The program includes 71 projects, of which 31 will be launched during the first four years, with which it is expected to modernize the system, making it simpler, faster and safer.

The aim is to improve the competitiveness of the industry and articulate urban -especially in the most populated area of ​​Oslo- and regional development. In addition to expanding the existing network, the construction of major projects is also expected, as the north-south road corridors or the first tunnel for ships in the world. The Spanish OHL Group obtained an award worth 265 million euros for the reconstruction and adaptation of the railway station Ski to High Speed. This project is part of the Follo Line, the largest rail initiative in the history of the Nordic country.

The Government aims to develop a modern transport system that will make traffic flow easier, faster and safer. This will increase competitiveness of the industry, improve urban environments and promote regional development. A robust high-level infrastructure will also improve traffic safety and make the transportation system accessible to the largest possible number of people. Moreover, the Government will develop the transport system to limit its environmental impact and help the transition from Norway to a low-carbon society. The guidelines established by the Government for the development of a transport system are included in the white paper Norwegian Climate Policy MELD. St. 21 (2011-2012). This document is the foundation for a comprehensive political agreement on the problem of climate change – known as the Climate Agreement.

The basis of the government is a long-term strategy which will include how to develop the transport system. This strategy is based on exploiting the advantages of each mode of transport and strengthening the interaction between them to facilitate the efficient use of resources. Regarding rail transport, the Government gives high priority to the development of routes InterCity (IC). At the end of 2024 there will be double track lines adjacent to Tonsberg, Fredrikstad and Hamar, which will enable the establishment of train services with a frequency of half hour throughout the day. In late 2026, double track will extend to Sarpsborg. The Government expects that future planning will be aimed at the completion of the entire IC system in 2030. Construction of the Oslo-Ski Follo line will start at the beginning of the National Transport Plan period. E6 via Sør and Nord-Trøndelag will have significant improvements. The Government will also give priority to the modernization and electrification of the lines Meråker and Trønder during the period.
The increased level of average investment for railways in more than 50 percent compared with the final 2013 budget, NOK 6.1 (0.8 million euros) to NOK 9.2 billion (1,2 million euros) a year. Allocations for investments represent almost double its investment in large projects. This will enable the development and modernization of the railway in the central area of ​​eastern Norway, in the region of Bergen and Trøndelag. In addition, measures to increase the capacity of the line Ofoten have high priority during the plan’s period.

Strong growth in rail investment will be used to strengthen the infrastructure around larger cities so that rail can play a key role in restructuring the public transport system.