Some residents and politicians in Northern Norway are feeling let down, after Parliament voted against a proposal to invest at least NOK 100 billion to extend Norway’s northern train service all the way to Tromsø. Others think it’s more important to improve the train lines that already exist.
“We’ve been waiting for decades to get a dual track on Ofotbanen (from Sweden into Narvik), and Nordlandsbanen (from Trondheim to Bodø ) should have been electrified long ago,” Narvik Mayor Rune Edvardsen of the Labour Party, told state broadcaster NRK. The mayor of Rana, Geir Waage also representing Labour, thinks Nordlandsbanen should be the priority.
Members of Parliament from the Socialist Left and conservative Progress parties, an unusual alliance that formally proposed the new train line dubbed Nord-Norgebanen, have said Labour has let down both industry and Northern Norway, and there was disappointment in Tromsø.
Many agree, however, that the costs and complications involved in building the Arctic train line are still too high to justify the project. Another new study of the hugely expensive project is likely, in conjunction with a new national transport plan aimed at coordinating needs for rail, roads, shipping and aviation.