4 major priorities for railways in the Norwegian National Transport Plan 2025–2036

4 major priorities for railways in the Norwegian National Transport Plan 2025–2036
© Jernbanedirektoratet

The Norwegian Railway Directorate and Bane NOR have outlined four primary objectives for the upcoming National Transport Plan (NTP) 2025-2036.

As stated by Jernbanedirektoratet,, the main focus areas include bolstering services around major cities, enhancing the freight transport capacity over extended distances, concluding ongoing development projects, and allocating a considerable budget for the maintenance and renovation of the existing infrastructure.

Knut Sletta, the railway director, highlighted the significant role railways could play in addressing major societal challenges. With a growing population in and around urban centres, an increasing need to transport goods over long distances, the urgency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the necessity to preserve delicate ecosystems, railways offer a solution. "The train is nearly entirely emission-free and can efficiently transport vast numbers of individuals and large quantities of goods," Sletta commented.

Maintenance and infrastructure as a key priority

Emphasising the importance of punctuality and reliability, the proposal prioritises the current infrastructure's upkeep and renewal. Preparing for future challenges, especially in the face of extreme weather conditions, is also a focal point of the recommendations.

Addressing urban growth with enhanced services

Predictions indicate a surge of around 350,000 inhabitants in Oslo and Viken in the coming years. To address this, the Directorate of Railways and Bane NOR have proposed developmental initiatives in Eastern Norway, near Trondheim, and as quickly as possible in Nord-Jæren.

Boosting freight transport capacity

Plans to boost the capacity for freight transport between key cities like Oslo, Bergen, Narvik, Trondheim, and onward to Bodø have been set in motion. These proposals can potentially divert 250-380,000 trucks from roads annually, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by over 43,000 tonnes yearly. The proposed investments are also expected to impact long-distance passenger train services positively.

Completion of Ongoing Projects

Both the Norwegian Railway Directorate and Bane NOR stressed the importance of concluding ongoing developmental projects before embarking on significant new initiatives. Sletta acknowledged the many excellent projects currently underway and emphasized the importance of long-term planning for future transport needs.

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