The Go-Ahead Group is celebrating after being awarded the Oslo South package – the first rail contract let by the country.
Awarded by the Norwegian authorities and the Norwegian Railway Directorate, the eight-year contract starts next December and will comprise of 5.5 million worth of train kilometres.
Covering a mixture of long distance and suburban routes, the contract will incorporate services in Sorlandsbanen, Arendalsbanen, and Jaerbanen, in close cooperation with the Kolumbus public transport company.
Go-Ahead, who specialise in providing passenger transport, has built on its international footprint, following on from bus services in Ireland and Singapore, as well as multiple rail contracts in Germany.
This contract in Norway follows the launch by Go-Ahead in Southampton of a new bus – a UK first – that reduces pollution and makes the air cleaner; all of this is important for the Clean Air Strategy.
The Norwegian project is part of the drive to build momentum towards 15% Group operating profit between now and 2022, contributing £70 million worth of annual revenue.
David Brown is the Chief Executive Officer at the Go-Ahead Group.
He was understandably delighted by this opportunity.
He said: “We are delighted to be given this opportunity to deliver Norway’s first contracted rail services. This is part of our targeted international strategy.
“We look forward to working with the Norwegian authorities to bring our international rail expertise and our customer knowledge together to deliver reliable and comfortable local services.”
Go-Ahead has confirmed that this locally focused strategy will be led by Magnus Hedin and Cathrine Elgin in Norway, who will build a team in the capital city that will deliver modern and comfortable railway journeys for customers.
Magnus Hedin, Director of Go-Ahead Nordic, added: “Our focus is on customer satisfaction, reliability and local decisions taken with our partners.
“We want to be a local operator who understands Norwegian transport needs and the local Norwegian customers, while benefiting from extensive experience in the UK.”