On the 8th of March 2007 visionary politicians from Berlin, Northern Germany, Denmark and West Sweden came to Oslo with a torch of great ideas and ambitions, and with the City of Oslo as host, the politicians signed the COINCO Charter in the Oslo City Hall.
The COINCO is an acronym for Corridor for Innovation and Cooperation. The initiative came from Copenhagen in 2005 and started as an Interreg project, financed by the EU and the regional partners between Berlin and Oslo.
Cooperation on innovation, best practice governance and energy were among the major themes, but the one that got most attention was looking into the possibilities of building a High Speed Rail (HSR) infrastructure through the corridor.
Since then there has been two more Interreg projects COINCO North I and II in the northern part of the corridor. The latter will go on through most of 2014 (www.8millioncity.com).
It turns out that Denmark has says no to HSR over the Øresund, thus COINCO South was created to look into other possibilities. COINCO South is so far a private initiative, supported by Norwegian, Swedish and German interests. The first main question if it is possible to build a 110 km long tunnel from Sweden to Germany. The results will be published in the report “The Shortcut” end of January 2013.
The old Hansa City Stralsund, which is the most likely German entry for such a tunnel, signed end of November 2012 an LOI (letter of intent) in support of the project.
Six higher education institutions in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg and Berlin will in 2013 look into the regional, environmental and urban possibilities such a HSR will create.
After six years a mature and documented realistic vision is brought back to the stakeholders, with more facts and with strong support. Oslo has done her turn. Berlin will hopefully take over the torch, it is her turn.
Complete background story to be found in english, german and swedish on this website within menu “Background“.