Norway (Photo: NSB/Leif J Olestad).

NORWAY: Infrastructure manager Jernbaneverket announced on September 30 that six contracts had been awarded for consultancy work on the country’s high speed line development programme. A mix of international and Norwegian firms have been selected to undertake studies that are intended to form the foundation for future development.

Launched by the government last year, the High Speed Study has been asked to recommend strategies for future development of passenger rail services southern Norway. The study is being organised as an independent project organisation, under the oversight of Jernbaneverket. The project is due for completion in February 2012, in order to inform the 2014-23 National Transport Plan.

The study work has been divided into three phases. The first phase began with the collation and assessment of earlier studies, which in practice proved to be incomparable. The second phase now underway will establish overall principles for high speed development, whilst the evaluation of specific routes will form the final phase.

Six routes were identified in the transport ministry’s initial brief. Five radiate from Oslo to Bergen, Kristiansand/Stavanger, Trondheim, Göteborg, and Stockholm, whilst the sixth would form a coastal corridor linking Bergen, Haugesund and Stavanger.

Under Phase 2, six contracts were put out to tender, with 40 bids received from 21 companies. The winning consortia are:

  • Market analysis: Atkins from the UK, with Ernst&Young, Temple, Rand Europe and ITS Leeds.
  • Rail-specific planning and development analysis: WSP Samhällsbyggnad of Sweden, with Transrail Sweden AB and Multiconsult AS of Norway.
  • Financial and economic analysis: the Atkins consortium plus Faithful+Gould of the UK.
  • Commercial and contract strategies: PricewaterhouseCoopers of Norway and the UK.
  • Technical and safety analysis: Pöyry Infra of Germany, with Interfleet Technology AS, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Sweco Norge AS.
  • Environmental analysis: Asplan Viak of Norway, with MISA, VWI of Germany and Brekke og Strand Akustikk AS.

Jernbaneverket Director General Elisabeth Enger emphasised that it was important that the studies should be varied and consider all aspects of the project. 'The composition of the group of companies that has won these contracts is a guarantee of both comprehensiveness and quality', she said.

Tenders for the Phase 3 route analysis work are due to be invited at the end of October.

  • Read all about Norwegian rail infrastructure developments in the October 2009 issue of Railway Gazette International - available to subscribers in our digital archive.