The share of rail freight continues to grow in Norway. On the Nordland line, rail freight traffic increased by eight percent in 2022. On the Dovre and Østfold lines, the increase is seven and five percent respectively.
"We get clear signals from the transport industry that more use of rail is highly desirable. The main reasons for this are the environment and climate, energy savings, and the shortage of drivers," says Oskar Stenstrøm, Director of Freight at Bane NOR.
The Norwegian transport industry is emphasizing greener freight transport and to shift more traffic from road to rail. The problem is that some sections of the rail network in Norway are overloaded. This means that demand is higher than supply, which has happened on several lines.
Last year ended with an overall increase, but in some areas of the country, freight traffic fell slightly last year. This applies to the Sørland Line, the Bergen Line, and the Ofoten Line. In the south and west, there was a large increase in 2021. It is therefore not surprising that growth stagnated last year. However, it was higher on the Bergen and Sørlandsbanen lines than in 2020. The reduction in freight traffic on the Ofoten Line is related to the decline in ore traffic.
Concerns about the sustainability of the rail freight share have been raised by Green Cargo's announcement that it will withdraw from the Norwegian freight train market. However, Bane NOR has managed to allocate all the routes - OnRail has taken over five of the seven routes and CargoNet has taken over the remaining two.
"We are very pleased that these train routes have been reallocated. The transport industry has made a significant contribution to this transition. We have had several inquiries from large transport customers who want to support this change," commented Oskar Stenstrøm.