Norwegian Government announced that it will elaborate a cost benefit study for the extension of a railway line from Fauske (Nordland county) to Tromsø.
Currently, the transport link between the two cities is assured by roads, on a 500 km distance and the goods are transported using the road infrastructure. As the authorities intend to shift transport to railways, the project may become a priority of the Government.
A new railway link from Fauske to Tromsø will pass by Narvik, where a current railway already connects the harbor with the Swedish rail network through the mining town of Kiruna. To be included into the study is also a siding from Narvik to Harstad on the coast north of Lofoten Islands.
Within the study it will be included a cross-border railway from Norway’s northeastern corner in Kirkenes to Finland’s rail network starting in Rovaniemi by the Arctic Circle. Linking Kirkenes with Rovaniemi would be important for a possible future route of cargo between Asia and Europe via the Northern Sea Route as the sea ice in the Arctic vanish. Vessels with cargo could then sail to Kirkenes, re-load to railway and send freight further south to continental Europe via Finland and the Baltic states.