The ceremonial ribbon to be cut by the king was held by the mayor of Oslo Marianne Borgen and the mayor of Nordre Follo Hanne Opdan.

NORWAY: Bane Nor’s 22 km Follobanen high speed line between Oslo and Ski was officially opened by King Harald V on December 12, the day after the start of revenue operations with the annual European timetable change.


Built at a total cost of NKr36·8bn, the double-track Follobanen from Oslo S to Ski has been developed to increase capacity on the Østfoldbanen routes heading southeast from the capital. Preparatory works began in 2014, and the main construction started the following year.

Much of the 22 km route runs in the 20·6 km Blix tunnel, which becomes the longest rail tunnel in the Nordic region. It is named after Peter Andreas Blix, the architect who designed many of the stations on the original Østfoldbanen. Built by a consortium of Acciona and Ghella, the twin-bore tunnel is laid with ballastless track.

The approaches to Oslo S have been extensively remodelled as part of the project, while Ski station has been completely rebuilt with three island platforms and a transport interchange.


Passengers gather for the first public train to use the Follobanen, which departed from Ski at 07.24 on December 11. 

The Follobanen has been designed for 250 km/h operation, but trains are currently limited to a maximum of 200 km/h pending the installation of ETCS as part of the national ERTMS programme.

As well as increasing capacity to accommodate an increase in regional and inter-city services, the opening of the new line has halved the journey time between Oslo S and Ski from 22 to 11 min.

The inauguration at Oslo S was also attended by Crown Prince Haakon, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre, Minister of Transport Jon-Ivar Nygård, and Valgerd Svarstad Haugland, Governor of Oslo & Viken county. 


‘December 12 2022 is an important day in Norwegian railway history’, said Støre. ‘The Follobanen will provide much faster and more frequent services for high number of passengers, and also it will make green rail transport even more attractive.’

Bane Nor CEO Gorm Frimannslund anticipated that the line would ‘create a shared living and working area embracing Oslo and the areas southeast of the capital. The much faster and easier commuting will improve living conditions in the entire region.’