The Norwegian Railway Directorate

The Norwegian Railway Directorate is the coordinating agency for Norway’s railway sector. The Directorate advises the Ministry on all matters involving railways and rail transport and is authorised to requisition services from the infrastructure manager (Bane NOR SF) and train operating companies. The Directorate is an administrative agency under the supervision of the Ministry of Transport and Communication.

The Railway Directorate has been assigned the task of exploring the future demands for rail traffic in Norway. This work will help the Government make decisions to improve the nation’s railway sector. One of the Directorate’s most important tasks is compiling proposals for the National Transport Plan (NTP) in cooperation with other national transport agencies and Avinor. The Directorate will begin work preparing the national programme for the railway sector for the subsequent plan period after the parliament (Stortinget) has approved the final NTP. The programme includes specific plans for infrastructures, passenger travel and cargo services.

The programme forms the basis for all agreements with Bane NOR SF regarding infrastructure procurements and agreements with passenger train operators regarding railway services that are offered to the public.
The Directorate is also tasked with overseeing interaction between all professional agencies and operators within the railway sector.

The Directorate thus aims to manage and develop infrastructures, rolling stock, passenger travel and cargo transport to make Norway’s rail sector as good as possible. The individual operators are expected to comply with safety rules and regulations in all activities based on national and international railway legislation, while the Directorate has a supervisory role in managing cooperation and the exchange of information within the sector.

The Directorate has operative responsibility for all railway passenger transport procurements. The first competitive agreements for rail traffic will commence in December 2018. Until that time and during the transition period, the trains that operate according to existing traffic packages will be run by NSB AS based on a procurement agreement between NSB and the Directorate. The Directorate does not have specific responsibility for commercial goods or passenger traffic, which are traffic agreements not based on public procurements (operating subsidies).

The Directorate has signed agreements with Bane NOR SF in several areas and all state appropriations for infrastructure are allocated through infrastructure service procurements that are managed by the Directorate. This includes access to existing infrastructures (operation and maintenance) to safeguard daily traffic, as well as the planning and physical development of new railway infrastructures to ensure railway transport now and in the future.

The Railway Directorate advises the Ministry of Transport and Communication in all matters regarding the railway sector. The Directorate has been assigned the task of running the Norwegian Railway College as the center of competence for the railway sector in Norway. The Norwegian Railway Museum is supervised by the Norwegian Railway Directorate.

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