The plans for railways in northern Norway have been on track for decades, but now Finland can make the wheels roll again.
The country wants an ice-free port in Norway.
Earlier this year, Finnish Transport Minister, Anne Berner, contacted her Norwegian counterpart, Transport Minister, Ketil Solvik-Olsen of the Fremskrittsparti (Frp), to propose a joint mission for a railway line between Rovaniemi in Finland, and (probably) Kirkenes in Norway, reported NRK news.
In Norway, the railway presently ends in Bodø. Additionally, the stretch is on the Ofotbanen between Narvik and Sweden.
Also, Narvik, which is founded on the ice-free harbour, and the transport of iron ore from Swedish mines, has participated in an assessment as a potential ice-free port for a Finnish railway, together with Skibotn, Murmansk, and Kirkenes.
‘We are looking at different elements and funding models. The potential and costs of the project are important criteria as the investigations are being done. There will be opportunities for EU funding, but also partly private and state funding for this project,’ said Anne Berner to NRK news.
Torjus Kleiven Kandal, advisor at the Northern Norway Europe Office in Brussels, believes this project should be eligible for EU funding.
‘Railroads are expensive, and Finland can ’t pay for it by itself. The EU are increasingly engaging in the arctic regions. They have also said that they will invest in infrastructure here. This is an example of where they can actually contribute’, he believes.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today