New railway in Nordic Arctic discussed

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EU could assist with funding in Finland-Norway line
In Norway, the railway ends in Bodø and plans to extend it further north have been on the table for decades. Now Finland may be able to get the wheels rolling again.
Finland is after an ice-free port on Scandinavia’s western coast and has its eyes on Narvik, located roughly midway between Bodø and Tromsø. Narvik also has a rail line reaching it from Sweden.
Earlier this year, Finnish Transport Minister Anne Berner contacted her Norwegian counterpart Ketil Solvik-Olsen to propose a joint mission for a line between Rovaniemi in Finland and Kirkenes in Norway – possibly connecting with the Ofoten Line between Narvik and Sweden.
“We are looking at different elements and funding models,” Berner said. “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.”
Torjus Kleiven Kandal, an advisor at the North Norway European Office in Brussels, believes the project would be eligible for EU funding, saying: “Railways are expensive, and Finland can’t pay for it by itself. The EU is increasingly engaging in the Arctic regions. They have also said they will invest in infrastructure there. This is an example of where they can actually contribute.”
NRK / Norway Today


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