#Norway to Reduce Cost of High Speed Rail Project

Bullet Train. (File Photo: IANS)

In Norway, they found a way to reduce the cost of the construction project of the Ringeriksbanen high-speed rail

The Norwegian government has published an independent evaluation of the Ringeriksbanen project with recommendations to reduce its cost by NOK 4 billion. CZK (USD 473.5 million).

The Ringeriksbanen project includes a 40 km railway with a maximum speed of 250 km / h and is planned as an extension of the Bergenbanen railway from Hönefoss to the Oslo suburb of Sannvik, which will straighten the route between Oslo and Bergen and thus shorten travel time between cities for about 50 min. A new station will be built in the town of Sunnwollen, several bridges between Sunnwollen and Hønefoss, as well as a new station in Hønefoss, which will be linked to the existing rail network.

The line will run parallel to the E16 motorway, which in turn will undergo reconstruction under the Ringeriksbanen project. Approximately 24 km of a new four-lane highway will be built, where the speed will be limited to 110 km / h.

The project was evaluated jointly by the consulting firms Marstrand and Møreforskning, and will be implemented by the Norwegian rail infrastructure operator Bane Nor and the country’s National Roads Administration.

The report recommends making some simplifications to the project, as well as reducing the amount of work to be done. Among other things, it is proposed to detail individual parameters for the design of the line, reduce the number of double-track sections, optimize tunnel construction in accordance with the predicted values ​​of traffic dimensions, reduce the design speed from 250 to 200 km / h, and enlarge the contracts to be concluded in order to ensure economies of scale and simplify organizational structure of the project.

Tunnel optimization concerns the 23 km Krogskog tunnel between the Yong district of Berum municipality and the city of Sunnwollen. The report recommends postponing the laying of the second track in the tunnel for at least 20 years due to the estimated low baseline traffic dimensions.

Based on the presented report, the State Railway Agency of the country (Jernbanedirektoratet) indicated the need for an unambiguous decision regarding the approval or rejection of the project. Its total value is currently estimated at NOK 41.5 billion. CZK. In addition, the agency finds no reason to continue considering proposals in favor of building a single-track line.

A detailed discussion of the financing of the project should take place within the framework of the government’s proposals for their inclusion in the National Transport Development Plan for 2022 – 2033, which will be presented in May 2021.

The construction of the line is planned to begin in 2021–2022. following the approval of the project financing and to be completed in 2028.

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