When the Norwegian Parliament on the 8th of October 1992 decided on Gardermoen to be the official main airport, the motion was also decided that trains should be the main means of transportation.
A new high-speed train was to be competitive, future orientated and an environmentally friendly alternative of transportation. The Parliament presumed that an expansion and an increased capacity would be profitable and give a marginal rate of return of 7.5 percent.
On the 24th of November, 1992, NSB Gardermobanen AS was founded to build the new railway line. The company was given the task to build a double tracked high-speed line - the first of its kind in Norway – between Oslo and the main airport, and onwards to Eidsvoll.
On the 1st of October, 1996 the Parliament agreed on NSB Gardermobanen AS to also be responsible for running the new line.
Problems arising in Romeriksporten, Norway’s longest railway tunnel, spanning between Etterstad and Lillestrøm
The expansion of Gardermobanen ran from 1994 to 1999. A 66 km. long route was built, with 13.8km. of this line being a part of Romeriksporten. During spring in 1997, extensive leakage was discovered inside Romeriksporten. The water level in the lake in Østmarka, located directly above the tunnel sank dramatically. Settlement damages in living areas in the Hellerud district were also registered as a consequence of the decreasing water levels in the area. The Norwegian Water Systems and Gas and Electricity Systems (NVE) laid down strict concession demands concerning the allowed amount of leakage. During autumn, in 1997 the leakage prevention work was started. Grouting after blasting was chosen as the main method of sealing the leakage.
In October 1997 it was known that the sealing substance Rhoca-Gil, which was used to seal Romeriksporten gave off the hazardous substance Acrylamide in the tunnel water. This resulted in the work in the tunnel being put on hold until it was actually established that this did not cause any form of health hazards. A cleaning plant was established shortly after, to clear the tunnel of Acrylamid.
On the 10th of June, 1998 the NSB board agreed to postpone the progress of Romeriksporten to be able to complete the sealing work of the tunnel after the NVE’s concession laws.
The extension of Gardermobanen was cost accounted to 4.6 billion NOK, with an uncertainty of +/- 20 percent. The investments in total came to 10 billion NOK, however this involves more than what was originally planned.
The total sum includes:
|The extension of Gardermobanen Etterstad – Eidsvoll||6.0 billion NOK|
|Additional costs Romeriksporten||1.3 billion NOK|
|Exceeding connection line Gardermobanen||0.4 billion NOK|
|Sum extension Gardermobanen||7.7 billion NOK|
|Train purchase and management improvement||1.4 billion NOK|
|Financial costs in total||0.9 billion NOK|
|Investments in total||10.0 billion NOK|
On the 8th of October 1998, Gardermobanen opened as planned on the railway line North of Lilletsrøm, but Flytoget - The Airport Express Train had to run outside of Romeriksporten. On the 22nd of August Romeriksporten was opened and
Flytoget - The Airport Express Train could run in full service!
Flytoget - The Airport Express Train was a success with the passengers from day one and has since the opening in 1998 entrenched its position as the leading means of transportation to and from Oslo Airport – Gardermoen.
The Parliament restores dept and gives independence
In April 2000 the Government put forward their suggestion towards dept structure, organisation and ownership of NSB Gardermobanen AS. Among other things, this happened on the basis of an extensive evaluation of the whole Gardermobanen project directed by the publicly announced Mydske committee. This committee decided that: “Gardermobanen cannot become profitable as promised in the Governmental proposal from 1992”.
The Parliament addressed the Governments suggestion in June 2000 and agreed amongst other things:
- Flytoget - The Airport Express Train is to be established with a value of applied capital corresponding 1 714 million NOK, whereof 670 million NOK being net capital.
- NSB Gardermobanen AS’s infrastructure is transferred to the Norwegian railways.
- A vehicle excise duty is introduced to cover management and maintenance of the line.
- A separate agreement between Flytoget - The Airport Express Train and the Norwegian railways to insure that the line maintains a high standard
- “Flytoget the Airport Express Train is organised as a subsidiary, owned 100 percent by NSB BA with a large degree of freedom and independence linked with what has been outlined in Innst. S. Nr 256 (200-2001), by the Mydske committee. The Organisation should be considered further in two years”.
On the 1st of January the company changed their name from NSB Gardermobanen to Flytoget AS. With the transfer to the Norwegian Railway Administration, the development from a traffic development company to a railway development company was complete.
Linked with the Parliament’s decision in 2000, Flytoget - The Airport Express Train’s ownership was evaluated in autumn 2002. And on the 9th of December 2002, which was a red-letter day for Norwegian train transportation, the Parliament decided that Flytoget AS – The Airport Express Train, was to be established as a public corporation, placed under the Ministry of Transport and Communication from the 1st of January.