In September the Red/Green alliance (Ap/SV/Sp), lead by Mr Jens Stoltenberg lost the elections after eight years in power. A new Blue/Blue alliance (H/FrP) lead by Ms Erna Solberg took over in October. The new Minister of Transportation Mr Ketil Solvik-Olsen (FrP) did not waste much time. On 2 th of December he met his Swedish colleague Chatarina Elmsäter Svärd in Stockholm to discuss closer cooperation of the planning and building of train infrastructure between the two countries.
The ministers agreed to set down a group of high level civil servants in the ministries to especially look into the Oslo – Gøteborg corridor (COINCO North) and some other possible Norwegian – Swedish transnational rail crossings. The border passing and the 100 km one-track and old and beat down rail track between Halden and Øksnered (on the Oslo – Gøteborg corridor) is considered the most important one for the future trade and growth between the two countries, especially for Norway.
There is now a considerable interest among the Norwegian and Swedish central authorities to upgrade this important part, often called “The Missing Link” of the COINCO North, to a modern double track infrastructure with HSR standards. This northern missing link, is considered necessary for stimulating transport from trucks to rails, and is thus also a conditions and an important ”peace in the big puzzle” that builds up to the logic of the tunnel solution in the Southern part of the COINCO, that is between Sweden and Germany.