Norway reveals list of rail routes to be privatised

Norway’s Ministry of Transport and Communications has announced the first two packages of routes it plans to privatise.

The first package includes the Sørlandet, Arendal and Jæren lines, while the second includes the Dovre, Rauma, Røros, Meråker and Nordland lines, as well as the Trøndelag Commuter Rail network.

Norwegian State Railways (NSB) and its subsidiary NSB Gjøvikbanen, which operates services between Oslo and Gjøvik, will be awarded contract extensions from December 2017 to the start of the tendered contracts in December 2018. NSB will be free to bid for the contracts itself.

NSB chief executive Geir Isaksen said: “We will do everything we can to win those contracts, and we will work hard to be as well prepared as possible for the competition.

“We run these commercial routes today and we know our customers. We therefore believe that we are in a good position to make ourselves the correct offer. This is traffic packets we want to win.”

Pre-qualification for both packages has now started. The first package should be concluded by August 2017 and the second shortly after.

Transport Minister Ketil Solvik-Olsen said: “With this we want to achieve an improved customer offer and competition to deliver the best services to travellers. This kind of solution is previously made on Gjøvikbanen, and has been successful. Gjøvikbanen has good traffic growth and customer satisfaction.”

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