NORWAY: A new 14∙3 km alignment between Holm and Nykirke on the Vestfold line entered service on November 28. Built at a cost of NKr6∙6bn, the new alignment has been designed for a maximum speed of 250 km/h and will cut 5 min from journey times between Drammen and Eidanger. It reduces the distance by rail between Holm and Nykirke by 800 m.
Replacing a sinuous alignment alongside the Holmestrandfjord, the new route runs mainly through the 12∙3 km Holmestrandfjellet tunnel. The new line includes an underground station at Holmestrand, which has 250 m long platforms within a cavern that its 12 m high and 30 m wide. There is parking for 250 cars on the surface, while sections of the former railway alignment are to be converted to cycle paths.
A maximum speed of 100 km/h currently applies through the new tunnel. This is due to be raised to 160 km/h with the timetable change on December 11. Work on the new alignment started on August 16 2010.