Norway’s parliament backs plan to extend rail network to Tromsø

The Northern Norway Railway line would extend north from near Bodø, where Norway's rail network currently terminates.

By Hilde-Gunn Bye, High North News - April 22, 2021
The night train has arrived in Bodø after a 728-kilometer-long journey from Trondheim. The Northern Norway Railway is a proposed prolonging of the railway from Fauske to Tromsø, with a side track to Harstad. (Njål Svingheim / High North News)

A majority in Norway’s parliament, Stortinget, adopted an opposition proposal Tuesday requesting the government to start working on realizing the Northern Norway Railway line.

The proposal was put forward by the Progress Party, the Center Party and the Socialist Left party. The Labor party secured a majority for the proposal, which was approved with 56 votes in favor and 30 votes against.

The Northern Norway Railway is a proposed extension of the existing Norwegian rail network from Fauske (near Bodø), to Tromsø, with a side track to Harstad.

Cecilie Myrseth of the Labor party argued on a radio show Tuesday morning that Labor would vote in favor of both proposals that were up for processing in Stortinget. During last weekend’s national assembly, the Labor party proposed conducting a concept selection study for the Northern Norway Railway line so that the construction of a northern railway may be evaluated at the next revision of the National Transportation Plan.

“There should be no doubt that we aim to realize the Northern Norway Railway, which is why we vote in favor of both proposals. However, it is obvious that no one will be ready to lay down the tracks tomorrow already,” Myrseth said.

She added that questions such as where the route should go, what the price should be, how it should be built and when it should be built are issues the project has to go through on par with other public transportation projects.