The proposal from the Solberg government to divide the train service in Eastern Norway is now parked. This is good news, which means a lot to both the employees and all the passengers who depend on a good train service every day.
Storting representative Trond Helleland, on the other hand, is a bit irritated after the Conservative Party’s ideological railway track now gets a red light. In a post in The daily newspaper on 14 March Helleland calls this “An LO-controlled farce”.
I can agree with Helleland that Norwegian railway policy has almost appeared as a farce in recent years, but it is a farce that the Conservative Party has directed. The farce of the right has resulted in more division, more privatization and pulverization of responsibility.
Today, Norwegian Railways consists of over 25 different enterprises, agencies and companies. The number of companies and the number of directors with million-dollar salaries has exploded in the eight years the Conservative Party has been in government.
The train company Vy has now presented a solution on how they can operate the railway in Eastern Norway. A joint operation will be able to provide better utilization of the capacity on the rails and further economies of scale. A joint operation is also good for the expertise and resources in the railway sector. Vy’s alternative solution to Høyre’s split and privatization provides a number of economies of scale, which can save the state billions of kroner.
For LO, it is important that every kroner for Norwegian railways should go towards developing more and better railways. Splitting up Norwegian railways even more is not the solution to the train chaos we have unfortunately seen in recent years with billions of dollars, cancellations and delays.
Trond Helleland also speculates that this means “the end of Flytoget”. To that, it is enough to say that the Flytoget will continue to run, just as before. So in this case Helleland and Høyre try their hand at an ever so small train robbery story.
While Helleland and Høyre are busy with farces and robber stories with railways as their theme, the rest of us should rather be concerned with what the railways of the future should look like.
Our solution is to build more modern railways, acquire more trains and increase the train offer. Only in this way can we build a railway for the future. We need more tracks and more trains. No more companies and no more directors.
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[ Høyre og Venstre kritiserer samferdselsministeren etter Vy-avsløring ]