Lack of investment could close Alnabru
Norway’s business and industry confederation, the NHO (Næringslivets Hovedorganisasjon), has criticised the government for a lack of action in re-capitalizing the state railway company Jernbaneverkets’ (JBV) Alnabru terminal, Norway’s primary rail-cargo hub located in Oslo’s southern district.
The NHO was warned that a lack of proper investment at Alnabru, and upgrading of key facilities, electronic freight handling systems and tracking, could force its closure of by 2018. An average of 50 freight trains, equivalent in tonnage to around 750 container trucks, pass through the Alnabru terminal daily, en route to southern and western ports and airports.
In addition, a facility analysis report (Alnabru Freight Terminal Renovation and Expansion) commissioned by JBV, and presented to the Ministry of Transport & Communications (MTC) on 12 November, recommended urgent capital investment at Alnabru, claiming that its closure would result in over 300,000 more truck journeys a year.
The same report advocated a EUR 200 million capital investment plan to upgrade facilities at Alnabru and expand the rail-freight hub’s goods handling and storage capacity. The report noted that Alnabru no longer has available capacity to offer to handle larger freight volumes.
The terminal’s ageing and inadequate infrastructure, terminal buildings and track systems, the report says, are contributing to a situation where longer delays in handling incoming freight, storing and re-loading shipments would force users to use road transport in order to meet the fast delivery requirements sought by business and industry.
Alnabru also need to expand its area of operations by acquiring capital to purchase land adjacent to build new facilities and expand its freight handling capacity, according to the report.
“If nothing is done, the entire freight terminal will grind to a halt in 2018 or2019. If Alnabru crashes, and because of its national hub importance, a huge amount of goods that are now moved by rail will shift to highways and trucks,” said Mr. Erling Saether, NHO Vice-president.
The NHO will meet with MTC officials next month to discuss the implementation of a new integrated national rail-freight strategy that would incorporate a priotity facility investment plan for Alnabru. A national transport capacity report commissioned for the MTC, and published in October, predicted that tonnage volumes carried on the nation’s railway system will increase threefold by 2040.
Tag Keyword: Rail Cargo Hub Naeringslivets Hovedorganisasjon JBV Ministry of Transport & Communications Alnabru Freight Terminal Renovation and Expansion Road Transport