Norway Looking to Buy 40-60 Trains
Norway's state railroad NSB ASA said Thursday it plans to buy 40 to 60 trains - locomotives complete with passenger cars - in the biggest single investment in its more than 150 year history.
NSB said five companies have been asked to bid to provide the train sets, with an option of selling up to 100.
A decision on awarding a contract was expected this year. NSB currently has 182 trains with their own dedicated passenger cars, as well as 32 other locomotives and 170 passenger cars.
Railway spokesman Aage-Christoffer Lundeby said the names of the companies asked to make offers were being kept secret as a condition of the bidding process "for competition reasons."
Asked about the price, he refused to give an estimate, saying only it was a package in "billions of kroner."
Stein Nilsen, head of NSB's passenger train unit, said the purchase was being studied because more Norwegians were traveling by train.
"We plan to meet the future with new trains that give passengers a better option," he said.
Costs, delivery dates and the total number of train sets would all be set as part of the bidding and contract process, the railroad said.
"This is the biggest single investment in NSB's history," said Emil Eike, head of the purchasing project. The railroad has roots stretching back to the opening of Norway's first railroad in 1854.
While NSB runs the trains, a separate government entity, the Norwegian National Rail Administration, is responsible for maintaining and building railway lines.