Transport convenience and comfort seem to be winning the battle for Norwegian consumers’ wallets.
“We see that a large proportion of air passengers would switch to trains if there was high-speed rail in Norway today,” says Tom Stillesby, Manager for the High-Speed Rail Assessment Project for the Norwegian National Rail Administration (Jernbaneverket).
The authority commissioned British engineering and design consultancy Atkins to conduct a survey amongst 3,000 business and leisure travellers. Results show people would be willing to pay more if the journey took three hours or less.
An Oslo-Trondheim route is currently the most popular choice, with people preferring end stations to be located in the city centre, according to the company.
Atkins also believes a high-speed rail link should also join the existing Oslo-Gardermoen route, and is now going to consider which interchanges are best the most convenient.
“Neither Norway’s climate or topography are obstacles to high-speed trains as long this is taken into account from construction to operation. This means choosing the right type of train, as well as building additional superstructures where there is danger of avalanches and so on,” Mr Stillesby says.
The National Rail Administration believes 2024 will see 36,000 journeys per day on the following routes if train tickets cost the same as airfares:
Oslo-Bergen/Stavanger (via Haukeli)