Norwegian National Rail Administration

Norwegian National Rail Administration
Type Government agency
Industry Railway infrastructure
Founded 1996
Headquarters Oslo, Norway
Area served Norway
Key people Elisabeth Enger (Director)
Parent Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications

The Norwegian National Rail Administration (Norwegian: Jernbaneverket) is a government agency responsible for owning and maintaining the Norwegian railway network, including the track, stations, classification yards, traffic management and timetables.[1] Safety oversight is the duty of the Norwegian Railway Inspectorate,[2] while numerous operating companies run trains on the lines; the largest being the state owned passenger company Norges Statsbaner (NSB) and the freight company CargoNet.[3]

The administration operates all railways in Norway, except tramways and rapid transit. All track is standard gauge, with a total of 4,114 kilometres (2,556 mi), of which 2,552 kilometres (1,586 mi) is electrified, and 227 kilometres (141 mi) is double track.[4] The Norwegian Railway Museum is a subsidiary of the rail administration.[5]

On 1 December 1996 NSB was split up; formally NSB and the inspectorate were demerged form the National Rail Administration, and NSB made a limited company. All three became subordinate the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications. The administration received its own chief executive, Steinar Killi, and board from 1 July 1999.[1]



State ownership of railways was at first through partial ownership of the many lines built during the 1860s and 70s; by 1883 the authorities decided to create the Norwegian State Railways (NSB) that would own and operate most lines. By the 1960s passenger transport on private railways was abolished, and only a few private lines remained; the last, Kirkenes–Bjørnevatnbanen, was closed in 1997. Since then the agency has operated all railway lines in the country, except tramways and the Oslo T-bane, that are operated by their respective counties.

The National Rail Administration was created on 1 December 1996 when Norges Statsbaner was split into two agencies, the Norwegian National Rail Administration and the Norwegian Railway Inspectorate, and one limited company, NSB BA. Until 1 July 1999 NSB and the administration continued to have the same board and the same director, Osmund Ueland.[6]

By 1899 NSB had a copper communication wires spanning the entire network. In 1985 NSB and Televerket agreed to build a national network of optical fiber that would span the entire railway network. This remained part of Jernbaneverket until 2001, when it was transferred to the subsidiary BaneTele. The same year it bought the bankrupt telecom company Enitel, and the whole subsidiary transferred to the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry in 2002.[7]

In 2005 the maintenance division was demerged, and established as the limited company Baneservice, owned directly by the ministry.[8] This was part of a program initiated by the conservative-liberal government to privatize the maintenance of the tracks, by forcing the administration to perform tenders; similar policies were being enforced on the Public Roads Administration and Coastal Administration.[9] The process of privatizing the work of 1,100 employees was discontinued after the 2005 election, following the victory of the socialist coalition government.[10]


All track is standard gauge, with a total of 4,114 kilometres (2,556 mi), of which 2,552 kilometres (1,586 mi) is electrified at 15 kV 16⅔ Hz AC, and 227 kilometres (141 mi) is double track. Gardermobanen, at 64 kilometres (40 mi), is the only high-speed line. The network consists of 706 tunnels, 2,523 bridges and 3,761 level crossings. The railways transported 56,827,000 passengers for 2,956 million passenger kilometers and 24,783,000 tonnes of cargo for 3,414 million tonne kilometers in 2007; the same year there were eight train-related accidents, with two fatalities—both suicides.[4]


The administration is divided into a directorate and divisions for infrastructure management, infrastructure construction and traffic management; BaneEnergi is subordinate the traffic management and is responsible for supplying electricity to the railway companies. Main offices are located in Oslo, while regional offices are located in Bergen, Hamar and Trondheim, while train control areas are also located in Drammen, Kristiansand, Stavanger and Narvik. The administration also runs the Norwegian Railway College in Oslo and the Norwegian Railway Museum in Hamar.[11] The agency has about 2,900 employees.[12]

In 2007 the administration had a revenue of NOK 5,661 million, of which 1,934 M went to operation, 1,369 M to maintenance, 67 M to Gardermobanen and 2,291 M to investments.[13] Of the investments 82% went to new lines, notably Askerbanen (25%), Stavanger–Sandnes (17%), Lysaker Station (17%) and Ganddal Yard (8%).[14] The administration receives most of its income from the ministry,[15] but railway companies must pay to use Gardermobanen.[14]


At the time of the demerger all stations were transferred to NSB, but the administration retained ownership of the platforms. All stations opened after 1996 are owned by the administration; this has caused a complex ownership structure where sections of the stations may have different owners.[16][17] The operation of all stations remain at the administration, while the NSB subsidiary Rom Eiendom is responsible for managing the railway unrelated sections of the stations, for instance the shopping center in Oslo Central Station.[18]

Railway companies

The companies that have agreements to access the national railway are Borregård Rail, CargoNet, Flytoget, Green Cargo, Hector Rail, Malmtrafik, Norges Statsbaner, NSB Gjøvikbanen, Ofotbanen, Peterson Rail, SJ, Tågåkeriet and Valdresbanen.[19]

Rolling stock

The National Rail Administration maintains a small fleet of maintenance trains and track inspection railcars themselves. All of Jernbaneverkets trains are yellow and diesel operated. When Baneservice was demerged, they took over most of the maintenance units. Jernbaneverket stock:[20]

  • 1 Di 3a (snowplow)
  • 3 Di R3 (snowplow and shunter)
  • 2 MZ
  • 2 Skd 225 (shunter)
  • 17 LM2 (catenary inspection)
  • 4 LM4 (catenary rebuilding)
  • 5 LM5 (catenary maintenance)
  • 5 LM6 (catenary maintenance)
  • 1 Roger 300 (track inspection)
  • 1 Roger 1000 (track inspection)
  • 1 YF1 (rescue)


  1. ^ a b Norwegian National Rail Administration. "About". Retrieved 2008-07-30. [dead link]
  2. ^ Norwegian Railway Inspectorate. "English". Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  3. ^ Norwegian National Rail Administration, 2008a: 12–16
  4. ^ a b Norwegian National Rail Administration, 2008a: 4
  5. ^ Norwegian Railway Museum. "Om Norsk jernbanemuseum" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2008-07-30. [dead link]
  6. ^ Nettavisen (2007-10-08). "Jernbane-topp gir seg" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  7. ^ BaneTele. "Historikk" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2008-07-30. [dead link]
  8. ^ Baneservice. "Historikk" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  9. ^ Rogalands Avis (2004-12-07). "Lammet hele tografikken" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  10. ^ Nationen (2005-10-27). "Fornuftig bruk av nødbrems" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  11. ^ Norwegian National Rail Administration, 2008a: 51–52
  12. ^ Norwegian National Rail Administration, 2008a: 49
  13. ^ Norwegian National Rail Administration, 2008a: 47
  14. ^ a b Norwegian National Rail Administration, 2008a: 48
  15. ^ Norwegian Ministry of Finance (2007-09-28). "Samferdselsdepartementet" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  16. ^ Norwegian National Rail Administration, 2008b: 3
  17. ^ Norwegian National Rail Administration. "Ofte stilte spørsmål" (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 2008-04-27. Retrieved 2008-07-30. 
  18. ^ Rom Eiendom. "Visjon og verdier" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2008-07-30. [dead link]
  19. ^ Norwegian National Rail Administration, 2008b: 8
  20. ^ Railfan Europe. "Jernbaneverket". Retrieved 2008-07-30. 


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