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Railway agency Jernbanedirektoratet has announced its preferred option for tendering the operation of passenger services around Oslo and southeast Norway. This follows a study of eight options for grouping the routes which it undertook on behalf of the Ministry of Transport & Communications.
The two operating contracts would be designated as lots four and five within the national passenger tendering programme. The government’s final plans for tendering the two packages are to be set out along with the state budget in October.
Lot 4 would cover local services L1 Spikkestad – Lillestrøm, L2 Stabekk – Ski, L21 Stabekk – Moss, L22 Skøyen – Mysen, and regional ‘inter-city’ routes R20 Oslo S – Halden, L3 Oslo S – Jaren and R30 Oslo S – Gjøvik. This contract would start in December 2022, to align with the opening of the Follo Line.
Lot 5 would cover services L12 Kongsberg – Eidsvoll, L13 Drammen – Dal, L14 Asker – Kongsvinger, R10 Drammen – Lillehammer, R11 Skien – Eidsvoll and L52 Bratsbergbanen. This would not start until December 2024, to align with the rebuilding of Drammen station with six tracks.
In October 2017 Go-Ahead Norge was selected as the winner of the Lot 1 Sør operating contract, the first to be tendered by Jernbanedirektoratet. This covers inter-city services on the Sørlandet line to Stavanger, Arendal line services and Jær line local services from Stavanger, and is set to run for eight years from December 2019.
On June 17 this year SJ Norge was named the winner of the Lot 2 Nord operating contract covering services to the north of the country, which is to run for 10 years from June 7 2020.
The Lot 3 contract covering services in the west will be the next to be awarded.
This article first appeared on www.railwaygazette.com