Norwegian rail infrastructure agency, Bane NOR SF, has commended the minister of Transport amd Communication , Gorm Frimannslund, over the new natiobal Transport Plan.
“We are very pleased with the Minister of Transport and Communications’ signals to create a realistic NTP in which portfolio management is used as a useful tool for success. The facility is exciting, the framework give opportunities.
“It is an important goal for Bane NOR to facilitate that even more people can take more trains. We have had a large increase in the number of travelers in recent years; from 62 million in 2012 to 80 million in 2019. This is shown by figures from Statistics Norway (SSB).
“This is a fantastic development, which is due to a strong investment in the railway, says Gorm Frimannslund, CEO of Bane NOR.
A large part of the increase is travel over shorter distances, Statistics Norway’s figures show. The CEO therefore believes it is right to facilitate a good train service where most people live; in and around the big cities.
– If we are to be able to continue this incredible development, we must prioritize tougher and ensure more rail for every penny. We are constantly working to cut costs in our projects, and that work is bearing fruit, says Frimannslund and adds that it is important for train passengers and for freight transport that we can keep up the pressure in all our ongoing construction projects, including Follobanen, InterCity on Vestfoldbanen , Østfoldbanen and Dovrebanen towards Hamar.
– In our input to the Ministry of Transport and Communications, it is therefore our first priority to complete initiated construction projects before we start new ones, says CEO Gorm Frimannslund.
It is profitable to invest in renewal
The maintenance backlog has increased in recent years. Increased traffic results in increased wear and tear on the infrastructure. Climate change and wilder and wetter weather present further challenges.
– The customer is concerned about a punctual and predictable train offer. Maintenance and renewal are a tool for delivering a good train service in line with the expectations of passengers, train companies and the authorities.
The infrastructure connected to the Norwegian railway has a very high traffic load, especially in the central Eastern Norway area, and errors here have a major negative impact on the punctuality of the rest of the railway network.
– Through targeted work, we have managed to offer relatively stable punctuality in recent years. However, it is necessary to prioritize maintenance and renewal even more in the future, Frimannslund emphasizes.
Proposes InterCity at significantly reduced cost
– The increased investment in the railway in the proposed state budget for 2021, gives a high rate of investment into the next NTP period in relation to the financial framework for the assignment we have responded to. To ensure good socio-economic profitability, it is important that the activities can be completed with the necessary allocations also from 2022, says the CEO.
This will provide an improved train offer to travelers compared to today, with shorter travel time and more departures.
– We work with cost and value optimization of the investment portfolio, and this work has yielded results, says the CEO. In our input to NTP 2022-2033, we point to a savings potential for the projects in InterCity of NOK 76 billion, this corresponds to half the investment cost that is in the current plans. The consequence is a different development, but with an improvement of the train service to the passengers on the route