Freight trains in Norway prioritised over passenger traffic
Norwegian infrastructure manager BaneNOR has implemented a new set of priority rules favouring rail freight traffic, responding to the corona crisis. The rules state that when it is necessary to prioritise trains, freight trains rather than passenger trains are given first priority.
The rules have been effective since 13 March 2020 and will greatly benefit the rail freight sector, as most of the Norwegian railway network includes single tracks.
“Or as we freight train engineers say these days: you know the crisis is for real when passenger trains are put to sidings to let the freight trains run non-stop”, comments Jørgen A. Sundt of Cargonet.
Approximately 50 to 60 per cent of the goods between Oslo and the biggest cities of Southern Norway, such as Bergen, Stavanger and Trondheim are transported on rails. Between Oslo and Northern Norway, to the coastal cities of Bodø and Narvik, these numbers are up to 80-90 per cent.
Products that move by rail to the north are groceries, medicine, mail, and all kinds of everyday stuff. To the south of the country fresh and frozen fish for export to the rest of the world are loaded onto trains.