Bane Nor to award Intercity contracts for NOK 60 Bn
The enhancement of the railroads in eastern Norway is underway in several places. Over the next three years, NOK 60 billion will be awarded to Intercity development projects – mainly for double tracks, but hopefully some for replacing defunct signal systems as well.
– Bane Nor plans to issue tenders worth NOK 60 billion for the construction of double railway tracks in Eastern Norway over the next three years, Marketing and Contract Manager in Bane Nor, Henning Scheel, states in a press release.
The contracts consist of construction projects on the Vestfold, Østfold, Dovre and Ringerike rail lines.
Some of the projects are nearly finished already. In September, travelers on the Vestfold line will have the journey time between Porsgrunn and Larvik cut by 20 minutes in both directions. In 2021 the double track between Oslo and Ski opens, and the travel time will thereby be halved to eleven minutes in both directions.
The Intercity project has been characterized by delays and subsequent political turmoil in recent months.
Just over one year ago, the Norwegian Parliament (Storting) decided that a double rail track system should be built between the central cities of Eastern Norway by 2024.
Bane Nor concluded that this was unrealistic and on July 4th, the Norwegian Directorate of Transport adopted a proposal to postpone the development of double track to Fredrikstad by three, Hamar by two and Hønefoss by four years.
The decision was criticized by the Organization of Norwegian Businesses (NHO), the Socialist Pary (SV) and Norwegian Labour (Ap). The Norwegian Railway Directorate’s (Bane Nor) decision shows that it is no longer the Parliament that decides the rail development in Norway, the Labour Party states.
Minister of Transport and Communications, Ketil Solvik-Olsen (Progress Party), emphasizes that it is not the entire project that is postponed, but that a few stretches take longer than decided to complete.
Facts about double track projects in the Intercity initiative
- Larvik-Porsgrunn: Double track completed. 20 minutes shorter travel time. Opens September 2018.
- Nykirke Barkåker and Drammen-Kobbervik Valley: Continuous double track from Oslo to Tønsberg, about 10 minutes shorter travel time. Two departures every hour between Drammen and Tønsberg. Later on, travelers will have four departures every hour on that stretch. The projects are scheduled to be completed in 2024 and 2025 respectively.
- Follobanen: Provides ten minutes shorter travel time between Oslo and Ski. The project is to be completed in 2021.
- Sandbukta-Moss-Såstad: Continuous double track from Oslo to Rygge. New train station at Moss, shorter travel time and more departures. In the long run, eight departures every hour is possible between Oslo and Moss.To be ready in 2024.
- Haug-Sarpsborg: Two departures every hour to and from Sarpsborg and reduced travel time. Project due before 2029.
- Venjar-Eidsvoll-Langset: Dovrebanen is connected to the Gardermobanen by double track. Shorter travel time. Finished in 2023.
- Kleverud-Sørli and Sørli-Åkersvika: Two projects along Mjøsa provide continuous double track from Oslo to Åkersvika near Hamar. More departures and shorter travel time between Oslo and Hamar / Trondheim. Finished in 2026.
- Ringeriksbanen: Joint project between Ringeriksbanen and European Route 16. 30 minutes travel time to Hønefoss. Bergensbanen is cut by one hour. Includes new parsell for E16; Finished in 2029.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today