There were some signal problems in the Oslo area Thursday morning, but Norway’s chronic railway delays have been reduced by more than a half since last winter. Efforts to improve winter preparedness by state railway NSB and the Norwegian National Rail Administration (Jernbaneverket) are paying off.
“We have had fewer malfunctions and have been better prepared for the winter. We have had more snow-clearing equipment and better staffing to carry out pre-emptive repairs,” Beate Isetorp, in charge of the Greater Oslo region in JBV, told Aftenposten.
Railroad magazine Jernbanemagasinet reported that the total number of hours passenger trains were delayed during the period from December 15 to January 15 had been more than halved.
“The weather has been as cold this year as it was a year ago. We had some snow drifting last year, but taken as a whole, the winters have not been that different,” Isetorp added.
Delays to the Inter City network in the Oslo region have gone from 1,051 hours to 432. Delays caused by track, power, signal or safety equipment malfunctions have declined by 59 per cent. Delays caused by problems with the trains or with the operators, have been cut by 38 per cent.
“The success has been celebrated throughout the organization with cake and words of praise,” Isetorp told Aftenposten.
Additional resources were needed to improve punctuality. Capacity in the workshops carrying out repairs and maintenance was increased, weak parts were substituted, new de-icing equipment was been turned on fully and new and more efficient snow clearing machinery was used. In addition points were kept heated, extensive surveillance of weak spots in the system was carried out and more train drivers were kept on standby.