27 billion to the railroad in next years state budget
The Norwegian Government wish to allocate a total of NOK 27 billion to various railroad projects in the state budget for 2019. That is 12 per cent more than in the current budget.
According to information leaked to NTB – the construction of the intercity in Vestfold, planning of the intercity in Østfold and another Oslo tunnel are among the projects that will receive increased funding.
The Government has also promised a billion towards the construction of the Ringerike railroad in the state budget for 2019, reports Bergens Tidende. The money will go to preparatory work, ground drilling and further planning of the railroad project, which will reduce the travel time between Bergen and Oslo by one hour.
The Ringerike railroad will also reduce the travel time between Oslo and Hønefoss from one and a half hours to only 35 minutes. Construction start is not expected until 2021/2022, and the Ringerike railroad is not expected to be completed before 2029.
The Intercity initiative is a major development of the railroad in eastern Norway, which came into being after the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) decided that a double-track railway should be built between the central cities in Eastern Norway before 2024.
Bane Nor concluded that this was unrealistic and on July 4th, the Norwegian Directorate of Transport adopted a proposal to delay the development of double-tracks to Fredrikstad with three years, Hamar with two years and Hønefoss with four years.
The then Minister of Transport, Ketil Solvik-Olsen (Progress Party), emphasized that the entire project was not postponed, but that certain stretches will take longer to complete.
The state budget as a whole is not announced before Monday – and how many of the 27 railroad billions are allocated each project is not revealed to the public yet.
Neither is it known how much will be allocated to lag and maintenance. Bane Nor, who is responsible for the tracks, has estimated that it costs NOK19 billion to cover all the remaining lag and that it needs 3.5 billion annually to prevent the lag from increasing, according to Frifagbevegelse (Free Trade Union)
The Government will also increase grants to other forms of public transport in next year’s state budget. The pot for public transport and pedestrian and bicycle paths will be 3.7 billion, which constitutes 45 per cent more than in the current state budget.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today