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photo: Bane Nor

Norway set to give billions to rail projects

Several large-scale projects are expected to absorb NOK 27 billion (€2.84 billion) in next year’s budget.

A total of NOK 27 billion (€2.84 billion) is planned to be allocated to large-scale rail projects in Norway in the state budget for 2019, 12% more than in the current budget, information that has been leaked to the news agency NTB says.

The construction of an InterCity line in Vestfold, to the southwest of Oslo, and planning for an InterCity line in Østfold to the southeast, plus another rail tunnel in Oslo are among the big projects that would receive increased funding.

The Norwegian government is also pledging a billion for the construction of the Ringerike, an extension of the Oslo-Bergen line from Hønefoss to Sandvika, in the 2019 budget, the newspaper Bergens Tidende reports.

This will used on preparatory work, ground drilling and further planning of the long-planned project, which will eventually cut the travel time between Bergen and Oslo by one hour.

Construction is not expected to start until 2021-22, and the Ringerike line is not expected to be completed until 2029.

Delays on the line
The InterCity project in eastern Norway came into being after Norway’s parliament decided that a double-track railway should be built between the towns and cities in that part of the country by 2024.

The rail agency Bane Nor said this was unrealistic and the Norwegian Directorate of Transport adopted a proposal to delay the development of double-tracks to Fredrikstad to three years, Hamar to two years and Hønefoss to four years.

The details of the state budget, including the specific amounts to be allocated to each project, are expected to be announced this week.

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