Norwegian trains amongst slowest in Europe / News / The Foreigner

Norwegian trains amongst slowest in Europe. 100-year-old rail network marginally quicker than Albania’s. A new inquiry conducted by The Future in Our Hands (Framtiden I våre hender/FIVH) shows Norwegian trains have an average speed of 75 km/h. Into the sidings Norway has the slowest speeds in Western Europe when it comes to direct trains, coming 20th out of 27 countries, behind Russia, Hungary, and Poland. France comes top with 227 km/h, whilst trains in Turkey limp along at the bottom of the rankings at an average speed of 29 km/h.

trains, slow, norway, europe, money, time, investment, nsb, jernbaneverket



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Norwegian trains amongst slowest in Europe

Published on Monday, 10th May, 2010 at 14:56 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 10th May 2010 at 21:27.

100-year-old rail network marginally quicker than Albania’s.

Train tracks
Train tracks
Photo: GTRtist/Flickr


A new inquiry conducted by The Future in Our Hands (Framtiden I våre hender/FIVH) shows Norwegian trains have an average speed of 75 km/h.

Into the sidings

Norway has the slowest speeds in Western Europe when it comes to direct trains, coming 20th out of 27 countries, behind Russia, Hungary, and Poland. France comes top with 227 km/h, whilst trains in Turkey limp along at the bottom of the rankings at an average speed of 29 km/h.

Changing trains is worse. Whilst France maintains first position with the same superfast average speed, trains in Norway slow to 53 km/h, just two places above super-slow Albania at 30 km/h.

“The train revolution in the rest of Europe hasn’t arrived in Norway yet. We haven’t built a new and coherent rail network for almost 100 years,” says Arild Hermstad, head of FIVH.

He believes politicians will have to dare to make drastic decisions if Norway is to keep its climate commitments.

“We can’t just patch up old routes and focus on essential maintenance like we have done in recent years, but focus on high-speed rail.”

The only new investments recently have been the Airport Express Train (Flytoget) and a few kilometres of track here and there.

Might be getting there

The existing rail network is still in a dreadful state of disrepair, and NSB faces a potentially huge fine for a winter of discontent.

Just over two weeks ago, Labour (Ap) Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg promised more money to the railways, saying he found the state of the railways “unacceptable”.

He wishes to develop intercity routes further, as well as build a high-speed rail network to the same standard as the Flytog with speeds of up to 250 km/h. There’s also growing support for high-speed trains.

But improving the current rail network is more than just about money, according to Jon Haugland – the Society of Graduate Technical and Scientific Professionals’ (Tekna) union representative for workers in the National Rail Administration (Jernbaneverket).

“One of the main problems is we have a capacity crisis. We’re pleased politicians allocate money, but it’s of little help if we don’t have people to do the work. We have talented people, but we need many more with the right skills if we are to lift the Norwegian railway up to the level we would like,” he tells Aftenposten.

All change?

Arild Hermstad believes international expertise is the answer to Norway’s ailing railway network.

“Even if we gave used a tremendous amount on maintenance, travel times would only decrease by just 10 percent. We’re then on par with Poland. To improve further, we’ll have to do something about the long-distance routes, the miles of track on the most important stretches, and build completely new ones,” he says.

FIVH’s table:

Position

Country

Direct trains

Country

Indirect trains

1

France

227 km/h

France

227 km/h

2

Italy

171 km/h

Italy

171 km/h

3

Spain

171 km/h

Spain

151 km/h

4

UK

133 km/h

UK

128 km/h

5

Sweden

132 km/h

Sweden

126 km/h

6

Germany

124 km/h

Germany

124 km/h

7

Greece

111 km/h

Finland

107 km/h

8

Portugal

109 km/h

Portugal

103 km/h

9

Finland

107 km/h

Switzerland

101 km/h

10

Switzerland

101 km/h

Netherlands

100 km/h

11

Netherlands

100 km/h

Denmark

 98 km/h

12

Denmark

 98 km/h

Belgium

 91 km/h

13

Belgium

 97 km/h

Austria

 91 km/h

14

Russia

 92 km/h

Bulgaria

 87 km/h

15

Austria

 91 km/h

Hungary

 86 km/h

16

Czech Rep.

 89 km/h

Russia

 84 km/h

17

Hungary

 85 km/h

Czech Rep.

 81 km/h

18

Poland

 82 km/h

Greece

 80 km/h

19

Ireland

 80 km/h

Poland

 77 km/h

20

Norway

 75 km/h

Slovakia

 72 km/h

21

Bulgaria

 71 km/h

Ireland

 58km/h

22

Slovakia

 70 km/h

Belarus

 56 km/h

23

Ukraine

 60 km/h

Ukraine

 55 km/h

24

Romania

 57 km/h

Romania

 54 km/h

25

Belarus

 56 km/h

Norway

 53 km/h

26

Albania

 29 km/h

Turkey

 48 km/h

27

Turkey

 None

Albania

 30 km/h




Published on Monday, 10th May, 2010 at 14:56 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 10th May 2010 at 21:27.

This post has the following tags: trains, slow, norway, europe, money, time, investment, nsb, jernbaneverket.





  
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