Norske Tog Stadler Flirt electro-diesel (1)

Swedish national operator SJ has won one of the tendered route packages let to date.

NORWAY: The government confirmed on November 19 that it was cancelling two tendering processes for regional and inter-city passenger services.

The previous administration had already awarded concessions for three lots of long-distance and regional passenger services around the country, but following a recent general election, the incoming Labour/Centre coalition announced on October 20 its intention to halt the competitions for lots 4 and 5.

Lot 4 covered passenger services on the Østfoldbanan and Gjøvikbanan, plus local services between Spikkestad and Lillestrøm and from Stabekk to Ski. Lot 5 included Skien – Eidsvoll and Drammen – Lillehammer inter-city services and local services on the Kongsberg – Eidsvoll, Drammen – Dal and Asker – Kongsvinger and Porsgrunn – Notodden routes.

Announcing the change, Transport Minister Jon-Ivar Nygård said ‘the government wants a better railway for everyone, and aims to give passengers a better train service, so that more people choose to travel in an environmentally friendly way with the railway. We believe that clear state management will be best for utilising the limited capacity of the railway in the capital area.’

He has instructed national railway agency Jernbanedirektoratet to cancel the ongoing competition for Lot 4, which was due to see contracts agreed with the winning bidder in March next year, and not to proceed with Lot 5, where the winning operator would have taken over services from December 2025.

The government has confirmed that there will be no change to the terms of the first three packages already awarded, describing the concessions as ‘fixed’. It has committed to working closely with the respective operators, Go-Ahead Nordic, SJ Norge and state-owned incumbent Vy Tog.