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Insights Norway high speed rail

The Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communication mandated JBV to assess HSR in Norway including analysis of whether it could contribute to obtaining a socio-economically efficient and sustainable transport system. Atkins (supported by consortium partners) were commissioned to provide market, financial and economic analysis to support the assessment.

Atkins Solutions & Added Value

A key challenge of the study was the development of a new economic and financial appraisal framework for the assessment of HSR in Norway capturing treatment of HSR as a “new” mode.
In partnership with RAND Europe stated preference research fed into the development of a bespoke mode choice model establishing parameters specific to the local context.
Bespoke HSR capital and operating cost models establishing an approach to Norwegian HSR cost estimation benchmarked against international HSR cost outcomes. 

Services provided

Areas of work included the following, spanning a number of design and service options:
  • Market analysis study of the demand for HSR.
  • Development of bespoke mode choice model. Including development of base matrices and stated preference research.
  • Costing – assessment of capital and operating costs and whole life assessment.
  • Economic analysis including the development of a framework to assess the economic and social impacts of the HSR network.
  • An assessment of benefits of using high speed infrastructure for the transportation of freight.
  • Uncertainty analysis – including demographic, economic, cost, technology and policy factors contributing to risk and uncertainty.
  • GIS accessibility analysis to optimise station location.  Study of facilities and requirements to encourage mode shift from air to rail.
  • A study of potential HSR track access arrangements.
  • Funding approaches – examining the potential ways of delivering the project including public-private partnerships. Atkins was supported by E&Y.
  • Provision of a review and discussion document on potential commercial delivery structures and their potential applicability in a Norwegian HSR. This document informed subsequent discussions between JBV and the Norwegian Minister for Finance.
  • A review and preliminary consideration of HSR commercial delivery structures 

Key benefits and success factors

  • Enabled a robust, evidence based platform for high speed rail development and investment decision making. Produced the basis, principles and models by which different high speed rail options and corridors could be assessed. 
  • Provided detailed assessments of existing data and models as well as the evidence base and methods proposed for future analysis. 
  • Provided support to the client at public conferences and presentations to key stakeholders on the findings and outputs to date.
  • Advised the client on potential commercial delivery structures to inform client dialogue with Norwegian Finance Minister.
  • The work was let in six contracts over two phases.  Atkins was the only contractor whose commission was extended from phase 2 to phase 3 and by the end of the project was leading the work for three of the six contracts. 
  • The completion of this contract directly lead to a follow-up study commissioned by Coinco North and funded by the European Union, This investigated the feasibility of a further high speed connection between Oslo and Copenhagen (Denmark) via Gothenburg (Sweden). 

Contract data

Value: over £1m
Duration: 18 months
Completion date: 2012