26 September 2023

NORWAY: More delays for troubled rail line

Start the conversation

The troubles of Norway’s State-run rail network have escalated with a fourth delay in the reopening of the Follobanen high-speed commuter line in the Oslo.

Norway’s most expensive transport project now won’t be operable until mid-February at the earliest, while problems on other lines have set off a new State inquiry.

Bane NOR, the State Agency in charge of Norway’s rail system, has been publicly shamed over what’s been called a billion-kroner scandal that should have consequences for the highly-paid bureaucrats in charge.

The Agency claims its crews are working long days and nights, out in the depths of winter, to identify and fix all the problems with its troubled train lines.

However, neither Government officials nor the public are impressed.

Head of Bane NOR, Gorm Frimannslund claimed he and his colleagues “feel very certain that we now know the reason” behind all the problems that led to overheating and fires in electrical equipment.

“We’re not ready to present [the reason] today, but it won’t be long until it’s completely clear for us,” Mr Frimannslund (pictured) said.

He said testing at high speeds — which wasn’t carried out before Follobanen’s ceremonial but doomed opening in December — was also needed.

“We can’t offer any guarantees, but there is high probability the line will open on 12 February,” Mr Frimannslund said.

“I know we said that about 1 February, but now we have a good time-plan and good margins, so we see it as probable.”

However, the media and some Government officials have called his credibility into question, and both he and other rail and train officials face official investigations.

Oslo, 28 January 2023

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.