6 votes

Tromsø – Once again authorities are looking at the feasibility of a railway in the north of Norway

7 comments

  1. [7]
    nacho
    Link
    I have to say, it makes very little sense to me. The report that's started this discussion once more is a feasibility report that looks at costs and benefits from a railway in the sparsely...

    I have to say, it makes very little sense to me.

    The report that's started this discussion once more is a feasibility report that looks at costs and benefits from a railway in the sparsely populated northern part of the country.

    The conclusion is that it'll cost more than 100 billion Norwegian kroner ( more than $11 bn), and a tad less than half of that will be recouped in societal gains.

    Of course, establishing a railway is a political decision that has more factors than purely economic reasoning, but there are way, way more efficient and environment-boosting projects to consider prior to this specific project.

    The populist Progress party (Frp) suggested that we could raid the oil fund meant for future generations to finance this project if it were to be considered. That says about all one needs to know about how unreasonable it'd be to realize this project.

    2 votes
    1. [4]
      Loire
      Link Parent
      The current generation of Norwegians is the next generation from when the sovereign wealth fund was established, if not two generations forward. While I am not arguing this particular project is...

      The populist Progress party (Frp) suggested that we could raid the oil fund meant for future generations to finance this project if it were to be considered. That says about all one needs to know about how unreasonable it'd be to realize this project.

      The current generation of Norwegians is the next generation from when the sovereign wealth fund was established, if not two generations forward.

      While I am not arguing this particular project is worthy, eventually that USD $1,000,000,000,000+ will have to be used for something.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        KapteinB
        Link Parent
        Politicians here have set a rule that they can use 3% of the fund each year. That way the fund will hugely help balancing the budget, while in theory lasting almost eternally.

        Politicians here have set a rule that they can use 3% of the fund each year. That way the fund will hugely help balancing the budget, while in theory lasting almost eternally.

        3 votes
        1. Loire
          Link Parent
          Incredible foresight by your leadership both in establishing the fund and protecting it through successive governments and economic scenarios. I come from a oil rich region that started a similiar...

          Incredible foresight by your leadership both in establishing the fund and protecting it through successive governments and economic scenarios.

          I come from a oil rich region that started a similiar oil fund in the 70's, only for it to be plundered continuously by successive conservative governments. We have over double the daily oil production of Norway and yet the fund is worth approximately 17 billion as of now.

          What Norway has accomplished with patience and diligence is nothing short of remarkable.

          1 vote
      2. nacho
        Link Parent
        Thing is, even though the fund started early, almost its entire market value has come since the year 2000, with more than half since 2012. https://www.nbim.no/en/the-fund/market-value/ If we...

        Thing is, even though the fund started early, almost its entire market value has come since the year 2000, with more than half since 2012.

        https://www.nbim.no/en/the-fund/market-value/

        If we continue using less than inflation and profits year on year, it'll be there forever and we'll still be able to make large spending decisions and investments from it at the same time.

        That all comes from not spending it now. The less money is used now, the more quickly you make the exponential gains of tiny margins compounding year on year on decade on decade.

        2 votes
    2. [2]
      imperialismus
      Link Parent
      This would be a project for future generations. The current Trondheim-Bodø line was started more than 100 years ago and completed in 1962 and is still operational. There’s no reason to think this...

      The populist Progress party (Frp) suggested that we could raid the oil fund meant for future generations to finance this project if it were to be considered.

      This would be a project for future generations. The current Trondheim-Bodø line was started more than 100 years ago and completed in 1962 and is still operational. There’s no reason to think this project wouldn’t last at least as long. That said, I’m not convinced, because I fear financing it would mean cutting heavily on other infrastructure in the region. Even the Progress Party isn’t proposing to fully fund it via the oil fund (or the Government Pension Fund Global, as it’s officially called, giving some insight into the intended use).

      I wouldn’t be happy to see all investment in infrastructure in other parts of the region grind to a halt just to build a cargo-first railway, even if it would get a few semis off the road.

      1 vote
      1. KapteinB
        Link Parent
        I think our current crop of politicians are too focused on gigantic prestige projects. The way I see it Nord-Norgebanen is really three projects: Fauske - Narvik, which will connect the existing...

        I think our current crop of politicians are too focused on gigantic prestige projects. The way I see it Nord-Norgebanen is really three projects:

        • Fauske - Narvik, which will connect the existing Nordlandsbanen to the existing Ofotbanen.
        • Narvik - Harstad, which will extend Ofotbanen to Evenes International Airport and further to the city of Harstad.
        • Narvik - Tromsø, which will extend Ofotbanen to Tromsø (the largest city in the region), as well as serve the important military bases in Setermoen and Bardufoss.

        There would be synergies between them of course, but I think we should also consider all three separately to see if it might be better to build just one or two of these projects. I believe Fauske-Narvik will be the most expensive, but for goods heading to Europe it doesn't matter much if it goes through Norway (Nordlandsbanen) or through Sweden (Ofotbanen).

        It might also be a better investment to electrify Nordlandsbanen or expand Ofotbanen to double tracks.

        2 votes