Trains running on time!

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Trains that run on schedule normally don’t prompt headlines, but in Oslo they do. After years of delays, cancellations and generally unreliable service, it was long-awaited good news when state railway NSB could show that nine out of 10 trains have been running on time this autumn.

Trains like this commuter line running in the Oslo area have been mostly operating on time. PHOTO: Views and News

It’s taken around NOK 1 billion in repairs so far and lengthy closures last summer, which caused disruption at the time. Major upgrades and maintenance work were needed, though, especially inside the tunnels running under Oslo. Intense work during a concentrated period seems to be paying off.

The statistics showing 90 percent of trains on schedule were for the period from mid-August to early November. They were compared to statistics for the same periods in 2008, 2009 and 2010, and showed overall improvement.

Much more work remains, with more disruptions expected next summer. Questions remain whether the trains will also keep running on time when sub-freezing winter temperatures set in, and snow starts to fall. Transport Minister Magnhild Meltveit Kleppa, however, was pleased.

“It’s good to see that the considerable effort made … is yielding results already,” Kleppa told newspaper Aftenposten on Friday. She hopes the trend will last. “The maintenance project is entering its last year,” she said. “When it’s completed in December 2012, all the critical infrastructure in and around Oslo Central Station will have been rehabilitated. Then we should expect even better punctuality.”

Views and News staff