Norwegian NSB has cancelled a 300 million Norwegian crown ($38.87 million) deal with Siemens Schienenfahrzeugtechnik GmbH for 11 dieselelectric locomotives and will seek repayment of the contract plus costs. (July 8th 1998)

Two Scandinavian shortlines, BK Tåg and Privatbanen Sønderjylland, may team up to provide an alternative freight service from Scandinavia to Germany and the continent. Instead of running trains via the Öresund Fixed Link, to be ready in two years, the two operators are thinking of using a ferry service from Göteborg to Fredrikshavn in northern Denmark. (May 31st 1998)


DSB's new logo, 3 kb
Danish DSB has a new look. The company says that its new status as a customer-oriented train operator and not an entire railway merits the makeover. (April 30th 1998)

Kimmo Kotimäki has some pictures of the March 6th accident in Jyväskylä, Finland on his site. (May 2nd 1998)

NSB Di6 512 bytesNorwegian NSB will return eleven Siemens-made new diesel engines. The engines are infamous for consistently failing to meet expectations. The testing phase was long and problematic, and in December the locos were finally delivered to NSB, two years late. Upon delivery, Siemens promised that 10 out of 11 locos would be operational at any time. But this has not been the case; if performance isn't up to scratch by June, the engines will be sent back. The contract was worth 300 million NOK. Photo Geir S. Østrem / The European Rail Server. (April 28th 1998)

Seatbelts on the train may be soon required in Finland. The chief investigator of the Jyväskylä accident thinks this would be a good idea, as it may have saved the lives of ten people. (April 28th 1998)

Free competition on freight services has been suggested by a group at the Finnish Communications Ministry. They also suggest putting commuter services out to competitive tender. (April 28th 1998)

Zero is an appropriate rate for the Danish and Swedish state railways to pay for using the Öresund fixed link between Copenhagen and Malmö, the companies say. The current contract calls for them to pay the equivalent of 400 million SEK (about £40 million) between them. They now say that estimates of passenger numbers were too high, and they can't pay anything before 2005. (April 7th 1998)

Norwegian Jernbaneverket, (the rail administration) and mining company LKAB are at odds over upgrading the Ofoten railway in the north. (March 26th 1998)

Finnish VR and Swedish Telia, the former phone monopoly, have started a joint venture. Telia will buy 40% of VR's telecoms operations. Telia's major Swedish competitor, Tele2, routes its calls through the fibre-optic network owned by Swedish rail administration Banverket. (March 14th 1998, more here)

10 passengers died when a train derailed at over 100 km/h about 200 km north of Helsinki, the Finnish capital, on Friday the 7th. Automatic Train Protection was not installed at the scene of the accident. (March 9th 1998, more here and here)

The government should pay for an upgrade of the ore railway Ofotenbanan (Malmbanan) in northern Norway, says the mining company LKAB. LKAB wants the railway to be upgraded for 180 million NOK to accomodate 30-tonne (metric) axle loads and longer trains. LKAB has pointed out that without an upgrade there will be no capacity for more Arctic Rail Express trains between Narvik and Olso, Finland and Russia. (February 25th 1998, more here, thanks Terje Storjord)

The Romeriksporten tunnel on the Gardermobanan airport railway oustide Oslo, Norway will be twice as expensive to make watertight than previously estimated. There, as with the Hallandsås tunnel in southern Sweden, plans had initially acalled for using Rhoca-Gil, the discredited agent. (February 25th 1998, more here)

An extension of tramway in Olso to the new hospital in Gaustad will be built, following an agreement between the city and the national government. Work on the extension will start immediatly, but will not be completed in time for the opening of the hospital. (February 25th 1998, thanks Lars Fredrik Andersen)

National commuter trains is the new model for the Danish railway DSB. DSB no longer wants to build railways for speeds over 200 km/h. Instead, that money will be put into buying 157 new "normal" trains, an updated version of the IC3 trains that have been exported to Sweden and Isreal. The plan is to use the trains to have on-the-hour services on as many lines as possible, so people don't have to remember the time table; in effect, creating a national commuter network. Denmark is a small country and the transport minister reacted positively to the change of heart, and quipped that the trains must be able to stop in time for the next station. (February 2nd 1998, more here)

The three Nordic railways have started an alliance for international freight, to take advantage of open access regulation and freight freeways. (December 30th 1997, more here)

Delivery of Oslo's new trams has been delayed; the first tram will not be delivered until June 1998. To compensate, the maker Ansaldo/Firema will deliver them in shorter intervalls than was intitially planned. (December 30th 1997, more here)

Open access in Finland will be a reality starting in 1999. Track access charges will be disclosed in March 98. Train builder Rautaruukki is among interested operators: they transport 3 million metric tonnes of steel every year on the railway. (December 23rd, 1997 more here)

photoFinnish VR has ordered eight pendolino EMUs from Italian Fiat, with an option for another 15, for 115 million SEK. In contrast to the first two Finnish pendolinos, which were partially built by Finnish Rautaruukki, the eight trans will be built entirely in Italy. Still, Fiat says 60% of the trains' value will come from Finland. They will be delivered in the years 2000-2002. They will be put into service first on the line Helsinki - Turku, then Helsinki - Tampere and then Helsinki - St Petersburg. More on the Finnish pendolino, Sm3. Photo from VRs homepage. (December 20th 1997, more here)

Fifteen billion NOK for railways in Oslo, including subways, forms part of a plan to be approved by the Norwegian Parliament and affected towns. Transit passengers will pay a total of 1,5 billion NOK, as will car drivers. The rest of the cost will be shared between national and local governments. The project includes 5 kms of new subway line, a new station at Homansbyen, and double track on the rail lines Skøyen-Asker and Oslo-Ski. (December 8th 1997, more here, thanks Baard Belsaas)

16kbThe Norwegian airport EMU looks like this. These are the first pix on the Net where the train is liveried. Note the dot design, the dots fade out. More pix here. The pix are from Adtranz in Västerås, many thanks. (December 6th 1997)

Norwegian NSB has ordered 11 Talent EMUs from German Talbot. They will reach 140 km/h, and have active tilt. (November 25th 1997, more here)

Finnish VR has cancelled an order for 16 DMUs type Dm11 as they do not fulfill stipulated technical requirements. They are too heavy by 9 metric tonnes and are too noisy inside by 12 decibels. The deal was closed in 1995 and was worth 100 million FIM. (November 12th 1997, more here)

Finnish VR is doing well with increases in tonnes transported of 12 per cent and passenger volume 2% so far this year, compared to the same period last year. (October 30th 1997, more here)

Danish DSB hopes to integrate its freight traffic with that of one of its neighbours (German DBAG or Swedish SJ) in order to improve efficiency. A restructuring plan from 1995, which was supposed to stem losses, has been abandoned. (October 26th 1997, more here)

Norwegian NSB has ordered 36 commuter trains from Italian Ansaldo Trasporti for 1,8 billion NOK. The four-car MUs will have airconditioning and seating for 300. The first train will be delivered in July 2000; after that there will be one train delivered each month. Ansaldo is also providing tram cars to Oslo, the Norwegian capital, and signal systems to the minimetro in Copenhagen, the Danish capital. (October 6th 1997, more here)

Danish DSB has grand plans for their website; these include typing in the address where you are now, and the address you want to get to, and you get a list of connections. Another possibility is that when you find concerts and museums on the Net, you could buy a ticket with transport included. Or that you order groceries for delivery at the busstop where you get off. Today, DSB reckons they save 10 DKK (~$1.50) every time someone uses the website to find something out instead of phoning a hotline or taking a paper brochure. DSB's website. (September 29th 1997, more here)

The night trains Copenhagen - Germany will go via the new Great Belt bridge in Denmark after the change of timetable on Sunday; day trains will continue to use the Rödby -Puttgarden ferry link. And tilting DMUs will start service in southwestern Germany. (September 26th 1997, more here)

The first Norwegian BM71 airport train has left Adtranz' test track in Västerås, Sweden, and returned to Norway for further testing. The highest speed the train reached in Västerås was 95km/h. (September 15th 1997, more here, background on the BM71 here)

Kløfta station on the Olso-Gardermoen airport railway in Norway was opened on Tuesday. The station has pedestrian tunnels with stairs and ramps to the platforms, and parking for 250 cars. When the railway opens on October 8th, there will be two trains per hour in each direction stopping in Kløfta, but none of them will be airport trains. (September 1st 1997, more here)

DSB and SJ have ordered 27 Öresund trains from Adtranz for 1,3 billion SEK. The three-car EMUs will get the Adtranz-built Flexliners' rubber ends but will rest on two bogies each; The middle car will be low-floor. The trains, technically similar to the norwegian Adtranz-built trains for the Gardermoen airport railway, will run at up to 180 km/h. Travel time Malmö -Copenhagen Airport will be 23 minutes, and Malmö -Copenhagen 38 minutes. (August 31st 1997, more here and here, with a picture!)

The Öresund fixed link will be as safe or safer than other railways or motorways when it comes to the transport of dangerous goods, a study done by the companies involved and Swedish authorities has concluded. The study suggested further precautions:

Danish DSB has ordered 13 new locos for transit freight trains Sweden -Denmark -Germany, from Siemens. The six-axle co'co' locos will develop 6 500 kW and be able to pull 2000 tonne trains across the Öresund fixed link, which will have rather steep gradients. They will weigh 126 tonnes, be 20,9 metres long and have a start-up pulling power of 400 kN. They will be delivered 1999 - 2000. (August 26th 1997, more here)

64 new mailcars from Finnish Rautaruukki now carry all of Denmark's mail. Each car has four axles and can take 32 tonnes of mail. Since the Storebælt fixed link was opened in the spring, DSB has run mail trains at up to 140 km/h, and 98% of the trains have been on time since July. The contract with Post Danmark stipulates 96% on time. (August 21st 1997, more here)

A sudden drop in water levels has been registered in the Søndre Puttjern swamp; this has been attributed to construction of the Romeriksporten tunnel on the Gardermoen airport railway. To save wildlife, water is being pumped into the swamp from another swamp, Kroktjern, which has previously been regulated and so is less sensitive to water level changes. Attempts to find out where the water from Søndre Puttjern goes have been unsuccesful. (August 16th 1997, more here)

A 470 metre tunnel on the Olso airport railway was completed on August 5th, bringing the railway a step closer to completion. Construction was problematic with cave-ins and water leaks. (August 16th 1997, more here)

Developments from the Great Belt fixed link in Denmark, opened in June, should have been posted here weeks ago. Better late than never: there have been false fire alarms, but happily there are more passengers than anticipated on the trains, over 20 thousand per day. (August 15th 1997, source DSB)

The first tunnel unit of 20 for the Öresund Fixed Link was put in place late Sunday night. The tunnel will run from outside Copenhagen to the artificial island Pepparholmen, just south of the bird sanctuary island Saltholmen. From there, a bridge will take cars and trains to the Swedish side at Malmö. The link is to be ready by the year 2000, when the doubling of the Göteborg -Malmö line also will be completed. (August 12th 1997, source: Tidningarnas Telegrafbyrå)

The European Commission received backing from 40 European ministers of transport for it's plans for an expansion of the trans-European networks (TENs) initiative in Helsinki at the end of June. Ten so-called corridors 10 will be built through eastern Europe and be funded partly by the European Bank for Reconstruction an Development. The corridors cost between 66 and 94 billion ecus. Among the corridors are the railways Helsinki -Tallinn -Riga -Kaunas -Warsaw and Riga -Kaliningrad -Gdansk. (July 17th / June 27th 1997)

Virtual Garden is the ad agency that will market the Gardermoen airport train in Norway. (July 17th 1997)

Danish DSB's management has been rearranged with the appointment of a new commercial and vice-administrative director, Keld Sengeløv, most recently from TeleDanmark. Other directors are Henrik Hassenkam, still the administrative director; Carsten K. Thomsen, director of economics; and Johannes A. Pedersen, technical director. The DSB management has in the past been critized for not being commercially oriented. Also, Hans Winther will take over the freight unit in September. Henrik Hassenkam and the current freight boss (Bruno Wighardt?) have been having stormy relations. (July 2nd 1997)

Human error caused the accident in Nyborg, Denmark, on May 20th when two trains were shunted together with too much force. Three people in one of the trains were injured. (June 21st 1997)

The first tunnel section for the Öresund fixed link is ready. It will be "plugged" and towed by four tugboats and sunk into place. Several layers of rock will be layed on top for protection. (June 13th 1997)

The Gold Train will tour Denmark from June 4th to 29th. The "gold"-painted IC3 / Flexliner houses an exhibit about the new infrastructure administration Banestyrelsen and the railway DSB. There is also a story about Rikke Berg and his travels on the future railways in Denmark. There are several other activities in the towns the train visits, such as free trips with a steam engine, local exhibits etc. (June 11th 1997)

The train ferry Hangö -Travemünde (Finland -Germany) will be moved to Åbo (Turku) in Finland, where there is a setup for changing axles (Finland has broad gauge). Finncarrier-owned Railship, which runs the ferries, is now impopular in Hangö, whose city council recently invested 60 million FIM in a new dock for the ferries. (June 11th 1997)

Queen Margrethe opened the Great Belt Bridge on Sunday. Also on the first train were Prince Henrik and the EU Commissioner of Transport, Neil Kinnock. Construction has taken 10 years. In 1855, Minister of War Tscherning suggested to the Danish parliament that a tunnel be built under the Great Belt. The opening comes barely a month before the 150th anniversary of Denmark's first railway, between Copenhagen and Roskilde, today the site of an annual pop festival. See also below. (June 2nd 1997)

Half price over the Great Belt in Denmark if you buy a same-day round trip for travel between June 21st and August 10th. You cans also rent an InterCity car for half price. The change of timetable includes, among other things, many more trains to Århus; the last train to Copenhagen leaves at 00:10, against 19:33 before. The earliest train leaves at 05:13, against 07:56 before, and now you get to Copenhagen at 07:07. Read more in English at DSB! (June 2nd 1997)

120 NOK is what they charge you for taking the train from Oslo to the new airport. The price is much higher than the public and competitors had expected, according to På Sporet. (June 2nd 1997)

20 million DKK for railways in Denmark may be the result of a decision of the Danish parliament, Folketinget. The money would go to measures for increasing speed. The conservative opposition wants to spend half that, and check out an ADtranz offer of tilting trains that could run 50% faster on today's tracks. (May 29th 1997)

All freight traffic north of Limfjorden in Denmark may be run in a collaboration of DSB, Skagensbanen and Hjörring Privatbaner. The management of the three companies will meet at the end of May, and may sign a contract. Prices can potentially be halved. (May 28th 1997)

A general strike in Norway looks set to stop train traffic from Monday morning. Three unions are unhappy with work conditions in government services. Oslo trams may also be stopped. (May 25th 1997)

Danish State Railways lost 27 million DKK in 1996, compared to a 1995 loss of 131 million. Revenue increased and expenses fell. Passenger traffic fell across the board except for international traffic. The 1996 target was a profit of 200 million, but lost passengers and perenial underperformer DSB Gods got in the way. (May 7th 1997)

DSB introduces the InterCity Car