Port of Narvik finds its way to Finland by rail

Source: Port of Narvik

A new rail freight connection is in the pipeline in Scandinavia. The port of Narvik will launch a rail link connecting it with Haparanda/Tornio on the Swedish-Finnish border. The service will commence in late April and offer one roundtrip every two weeks to start, with key partners being CargoNet and Nurminen logistics.

CargoNet will undertake the operation of the Narvik-Haparanda/Tornio section. Nurminen logistics will be responsible for the operation and freight forwarding from the Sweden-Finland border onwards to Helsinki. From there, Nurminen can guarantee further cargo distribution to the Baltics, continental Europe and Asia.

Choosing CragoNet as a key partner to operate the rail freight service was a natural solution for the port of Narvik. This is so because the company already has its own terminal in the port’s facilities and has an extensive network in Norway and Scandinavia. CargoNet and Narvik have been cooperating in other projects, too, like the one connecting the Norwegian port with Padborg in Denmark to transport fish products.

A political backdrop?

Of course, linking Norway’s northernmost terminal with Finland, which functions as a gateway to multiple destinations, can be beneficial in many ways. “The freight route opens up new markets and provides a better logistics offer to the business community in the region and the northern area in general”, said the port of Narvik.

However, using the specific route to Haparanda/Tornio might include an underlying cause. As the port of Narvik explained until the border with Sweden, trains will use the Ofoten line running between the port and Riksgränsen. The Ofoten line has long been on the development agenda of the Nordland County Municipality in Norway.

“A new offer for goods via the port of Narvik and the Ofoten line is important for Norwegian High North policy. The Ofoten line also has high status as part of Europe’s priority railway infrastructure,” said the port of Narvik, implying that a new and efficient service via the specific route could leverage further developments on a political level that will benefit its upgrade.

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Author: Nikos Papatolios

Nikos Papatolios is editor of RailFreight.com, the online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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