Our association has for a long time been working on making the Norwegian and Swedish government cooperating better, by start planning – and eventually build – a modern rail connection between Oslo and Gothenburg. The idea of High Speed Rail (HSR) has been left since Norway decided to not go for faster trains than 250 km pr hour. Recently also Sweden did the same (in their suggested NTP that was presented end of August). But still a modern railraod is needed especially for the growing trade flows between the two countries. Today more than 2500 trucks passes the boarder and these cause a lot of unessary emissions, trafic jams and accidents. To build a modern mixed trafic rail road has been high on the agenada for COINCO since the very start and that is why we have introduced the project COINCO North in our terminology.
The last two years the work around COINCO North has been intensified since both Norway and Sweden are revising their National Transportation Plans (NTP) this year and next year. Norway was first out. After an intense lobby in the spring, where many organizations and associations on both the Norwegian and Swedish side, were mobilized, the decision finally came in place. It was decided during the parliament negotiations on June 19th – around the desission on NTP – that Norway will invite Sweden into a joint planning process. Or as it was concluded in parliament;
“The majority of committee are recommending that a concept study for boarder crossing freight trafic is done as a cooperation between Norwegian and Swedish governments”.
The lobby work will now intensify to make a matching decission on the Swedis side. The Swedish NTP that was publisehd on August 31st, is it now on a hearing round in Sweden, with deadline on November 30th. The final Swedish NTP will be decided in the Swedish parliament next spring,