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May 2005

NSB Wins First Norwegian Franchise

Norway has contracted out the operation of the unprofitable Gjøvik railway 2006-2016 to NSB. Several international operators bid. The department of transport says costs fell from NOK80m annually to NOK70m, with more departures and more comfortable trains with wheelchair lifts. NSB keeps all ticket revenues and also gets a bonus for increasing passenger volume. The next railways to be franchised will be Sørlandsbanen and Bergensbanen. See also NSB press release. (May 31st)

Snail Mail by Rail

Rail Too Unreliable for Mail

European freight rail is too unreliable and expensive for mail, says the boss of Germany's post office, Deutsche Post, which also owns the mail courier DHL. The comments were made by Deutsche Post boss Klaus Zumwinkel at a conference in München, Transport Logistic. (May 31st)

Rail Mail Back in Britain

GB Railfreight has won a contract to operate trains between London, North-west England and Scotland for the Royal Mail. The Royal Mail says GB Railfreight's rates are more reasonable than those of EWS, which ran mail trains earlier. The new trains will move a million letters, while the train system ditched in 2004 carried 13 million letters. See also BBC story. (May 31st, thanks Nic Newman)

Oslo Gets Back Night Trains

Night trains southward from Oslo, Norway, are making a comeback this summer. They were cancelled when NSB moved its international trains to Linx, the short-lived joint venture with SJ. The trains will run Oslo-Göteborg-Stockholm and Oslo-Göteborg-Malmö. They will be integrated with SJ's Stockholm-Göteborg-Malmö night train, which replaces the Stockholm-Linköping-Malmö night train. See also NSB press release. (May 31st)

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