Transport in Norway

Transport in Norway

Transport in Norway is highly influenced by Norway's low population density, narrow shape and long coastline. Norway has old water transport traditions, but rail, road and air transport have increased in importance during the 20th century. Due to the low population density, public transport is less built out than in many European countries, especially outside the cities.

The main governing body is the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications, which performs operations through numerous subsidiaries. [Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communication, 2003: 3] Tasks related to public transport and some roads have been delegated to the counties and municipalities. Most infrastructure is publicly owned, while most operations are performed by private companies; public transport is subsidized.

In average each Norwegian transported themselves for 70 minutes each day. 8% of passenger transport was made by public transport; road transport is the dominant mode of transport.cite web |url= |title=Transport |author=Statistics Norway |accessdate=2008-07-15 ] The transport sector was responsible for 4.1% of the gross national product and 6.6% of employment in 2006.


Aviation has become an important passenger transport mode since the 1960s. Airplane is a common used mode of transport on longer distances, and the routes between Oslo and Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger are all among the ten largest in Europe. [cite web |url= |title="Bergensflyet" nummer sju i Europa |author=Boarding |date=2006-11-11 |accessdate=2008-07-15 |language=Norwegian] In Western and Northern Norway, with difficult terrain and lack of rail transport, regional airline travel provides quick travel within the region or to the capital.cite web |url= |title=Regionale flyruter |author=Ministry of Transport |accessdate=2008-07-15 |language=Norwegian]


Of the 98 airports in Norway, 51 are public,cite web |url= |title=2007 Passasjerer |author=Avinor |date=2008 |accessdate=2008-07-15 |language=Norwegian] and 46 are operated by the state-owned Avinor. [cite web |url= |title=About Avinor |author=Avinor |accessdate=2008-07-15] Seven airports have more than one million passengers annually. 41,089,675 passengers passed through Norwegian airports in 2007, of which 13,397,458 were international.

The main gateway by air to Norway is Oslo Airport, Gardermoen, located about convert|50|km|mi north of Oslo with departures to most European countries and some intercontinental destinations. [cite web |url= |title=Car |author=Oslo Lufthavn |accessdate=2008-07-15] [cite web |url= |title=International scheduled routes from Oslo |author=Oslo Lufthavn |accessdate=2008-07-15] It is hub for the two major Norwegian airlines Scandinavian Airlines System [cite web |url= |title=Rutekart |author=Scandinavian Airlines System |accessdate=2008-07-15] and Norwegian Air Shuttle, [cite web |url= |title=Route Map |author=Norwegian Air Shuttle |accessdate=2008-07-15] and for regional aircraft from Western Norway.cite web |url= |title=Våre destinasjoner |author=Widerøe |accessdate=2008-07-15]

Heliports are common at hospitals and oil platforms. The Norwegian Air Ambulance service operates twelve helicopters and nine airplanes. [cite web |url= |author=Norwegian Air Ambulance |title=Om oss |accessdate=2008-07-15 |language=Norwegian]

Regional aviation

The regional airport service was introduced in the 1960s, with 30 airports being served by short take-off and landing aircraft. These are located mainly in Sogn og Fjordane and Northern Norway, in areas with long distances to large cities and with too little traffic to support commercial flights. The airports, which typically have a convert|800|m|ft runway, are run by Avinor, while the airplanes are operated based on subsidized public service obligation contracts with the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications. [Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communication, 2003: 5] The by far largest contractor is Widerøe with their fleet of de Havilland Canada Dash 8 aircraft, [cite web |url= |title=Aircrafts |author=Widerøe |accessdate=2008-07-15] but also Danish Air Transport, Lufttransport and Kato Air have won bids. [cite web |url= |title=Tildeling av einerett for drift av 16 ruteområde |author=Boarding |date=2005-11-02 |accessdate=2008-07-15 |language=Norwegian] The flights operate from one or more regional airports to larger hubs; in Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Bodø, Troms and Kirkenes. One service, to Værøy Airport, is served by helicopter. [cite web |url= |title=Ruteflyvning Bodø – Værøy v.v. |author=Lufttransport |accessdate=2008-07-15 |language=Norwegian] 1,214,508 passengers passed through the regional airports in 2007.

Rail transport

The main railway network consists of convert|4114|km|mi of standard gauge lines, of which convert|227|km|mi is double track and convert|64|km|mi high-speed rail (210 km/h) while 62% is electrified at 15 kV AC. The railways transported 56,827,000 passengers 2,956 million passenger kilometers and 24,783,000 tonnes of cargo 3,414 million tonne kilometers. [Norwegian National Rail Administration, 2008: 4]

The main long-haul network consists of lines from Oslo and westwards along the South Coast to Stavanger and over the mountains to Bergen; and north to Åndalsnes and via Trondheim to Bodø. Four lines connect to Sweden, allowing access to the European network. [Norwegian National Rail Administration, 2007: 7] The only high-speed line is Gardermobanen, connecting Oslo to Oslo Airport, Gardermoen, but plans exist to built more high-speed lines in Eastern Norway, [cite web |url= |title=Modernisering av Vestfoldbanen |author=Norwegian National Rail Administration |date=2008-01-07 |accessdate=2008-07-15 |language=Norwegian] and possibly to other parts of Norway. [cite web |url= |title=Utredning av høyfartsbaner |author=Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications |accessdate=2008-07-15 |language=Norwegian] The entire network is owned by the Norwegian National Rail Administration,cite web |url= |title=About |author=Norwegian National Rail Administration |accessdate=2008-07-15] while all domestic passenger trains except the Airport Express Train are operated by Norges Statsbaner (NSB). [Norwegian National Rail Administration, 2008: 13] Several companies operate freight trains. [Norwegian National Rail Administration, 2008: 16]

Investment in new infrastructure and maintenance is financed through the state budget, and subsidies are provided for passenger train operations.cite web |url= |title=Kollektivtransport |author=Norwegian Ministry of Transport |accessdate=2008-07-15 |language=Norwegian] NSB operates long-haul trains, including night trains, regional services and four commuter train systems, around Oslo, Trondheim, Bergen and Stavanger. [cite web |url= |title=Train facts |author=Norges Statsbaner |accessdate=2008-07-15]

Rail transit

Tramways operate in Oslo and Trondheim, with a system in Bergen under construction. The only rapid transit system is the Oslo T-bane, while the only funicular is in Bergen. The rail transits are operated by the counties, and integrated into the bus transport. In Oslo the two systems make the backbone of the public transport system, giving Oslo by far the highest public transport share of 20%. [cite web |url= |title=Sterk kollektivvekst og kollektivandel |author=Oslo Sporveier |date=2006-08-30 |accessdate=2008-07-15 |language=Norwegian] In 2007, 101 million passengers were transported 490 million passenger kilometers by rail transit. [cite web |url= |title=Bane, ekslusive NSB |author=Statistics Norway |date=2008-01-03 |accessdate=2008-07-15 |language=Norwegian] [Norwegian National Rail Administration, 2007: 12–13]

Road transport

Norway has a road network of convert|92946|km|mi, of which convert|72033|km|mi are paved and convert|664|km|mi are motorway.cite web |url= |title=Norway |author=Central Intelligence Agency |date=2008 |accessdate=2008-07-15] There are four tiers of road routes; national, county, municipal and private, with only the national roads numbered en route. The most important national routes are part of the European route scheme, and the two most prominent are the E6 going north-south through the entire country, while E39 follows the West Coast. National and county roads are managed by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. [Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications, 2003: 15]

Motorways exist around the largest cities; many of the larger cities have introduces toll schemes to help finance roads. [cite web |url= |title=Norway's urban toll rings: evolving towards congestion charging? |author=Ieromanachou, Potter and Warren |accessdate=2008-07-16] In 2008, 130 ferry routes remained in service, operated by private companies on contract with the Public Roads Administration. [Norwegian Public Roads Administration, 2008: 7] Since the 1970s the heaviest rural investments have been mainland connections to replace the many car ferries that are needed to cross fjords and connect to islands. These tunnels and bridges are normally financed through toll fees. [cite web |url= |title=Bompengeanlegg |author=Norvegfinans |accessdate=2008-07-16 |language=Norwegian] During the winter column driving occurs on some mountain passes, where care drive after a snowplough in a column. [cite web |url= |title=Kolonnekjøring |author=Norwegian Public Road Administration |accessdate=2008-07-16 |language=Norwegian]

In 2007 there were 2.6 million automobiles in Norway, or 44 per 1000 residents, an increase of 27% the last ten years—average age was 10.2 years. Road accidents killed 242 people and road transport caused 20% of greenhouse gas emissions. Trucks transported 264 million tonnes 15 billion tonne kilometers. [cite web |url= |title=Lastebilundersøkelsen |author=Statistics Norway |accessdate=2008-07-16 |language=Norwegian]

Bus transport

Each county is responsible for the public transport in their area, [cite web |url= |title=Lokal kollektivtransport |author=Norwegian Ministry of Transport |accessdate=2008-07-15 |language=Norwegian] except for railways, regional airlines and the Coastal Express, that are financed by the state. Buses transported 290 million passengers 3.7 billion passenger kilometers in 2007.cite web |url= |title=Kollektivtransport |author=Statistics Norway |date=2008-01-03 |accessdate=2008-07-15 |language=Norwegian] 6,194 buses were in operation during 2007; there were sold tickets for NOK 3,721 million while bus transport received government subsidies of NOK 3,393 million. [cite web |url= |title=Buss |author=Statistics Norway |date=2008-01-03 |accessdate=2008-07-16 |language=Norwegian]

Bus, bus and water bus services are normally operated by private companies on contract with the county or their public transport authority (such as Ruter or Vestviken Kollektivtrafikk). Long-haul coach services are operated by various companies, most of whom cooperate through NOR-WAY Bussekspress. [cite web |url= |title=Selskapene |author=NOR-WAY Bussekspress |accessdate=2008-07-15 |language=Norwegian]

Water transport

The coastal infrastructure is operated by the Norwegian Coastal Administration,cite web |url= |title=The Norwegian Coastal Administration |author=Norwegian Coastal Administration |accessdate=2008-07-16] while ports are operated by the municipalities. [cite web |url= |title=The Norwegian Coastal Administration |author=Norwegian Coastal Administration |accessdate=2008-07-16] [cite web |url= |title=Offentlige havner i Norge |author=Norwegian Coastal Administration |accessdate=2008-07-16 |language=Norwegian] Norway has convert|90000|km|mi of shoreline, 400,000 leisure craft and a 715 ships in the merchant marine.

Merchant marine

Norway is the fifth largest beneficial shipowning country, with 5% of the worlds fleet; [cite web |url= |title=Top 20 beneficial ownership countries (January 2007) |author=Shippingfacts |date=2007 |accessdate=2008-07-16] though a high portion of these are registered in flags of convenience, Norway has 15 million gross tonnes of ships under its flag. [cite web |url= |title=Top 20 largest shipping flags (January 2007) |author=Shippingfacts |date=2007 |accessdate=2008-07-16] The government has created an internal register, the Norwegian International Ship Register (NIS), as a subset of the Norwegian Ship Register; ships on the NIS enjoy many benefits of flags of convenience and do not have to be crewed by Norwegians. [cite web |url= |title=NIS |author=Norwegian Ship Registers |accessdate=2008-07-15]


Fast ferries operate many places where fjords and islands make it quicker to follow the waterways than the roads; some small islands are served by water buses. Public transport by ship transported eight million passengers 273 million passenger kilometers in 2007. [cite web |url= |title=Båt |author=Statistics Norway |date=2008-01-03 |language=Norwegian |accessdate=2008-07-16] The Coastal Express operates daily cruiseferries from Bergen to Kirkenes, calling at 35 ports. [cite web |url= |title=Hurtigruten - The World's Most Beautiful Voyage |author=Hurtigruten Group |accessdate=2008-07-16] International cruiseferries operate from Southern Norway to the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany and Sweden. [cite web |url= |title=Color Line |author=Color Line |accessdate=2008-07-16] [cite web |url= |title=Bergen–Haugesund–Stavanger–Newcastle |author=DFDS Seaways |accessdate=2008-07-16]


The petroleum and natural gas production on the Norwegian continental shelf uses pipelines to transport produce to processing plants on mainland Norway and other European countries; total length is convert|9481|km|mi. The government-owned Gassco operates all natural gas piplines; in 2006, 88 billion cubic meters were transported, or 15% of European consumption [cite web |url= |title=About Gassco |author=Gassco |accessdate=2008-07-16]



*cite web |url= |title=The Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications |author=Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications |date=2003
*cite web |url= |title=Railway Statistics 2007 |author=Norwegian National Rail Administration |date=2008
*cite web |url= |title=Ferry Statistics 2007 |author=Norwegian Public Roads Administration |date=2008 |language=Norwegian

External links

*commonscat-inline|Transport in Norway
* [ Ministry of Transport and Communications]
* [ Transport] at Statistics Norway

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