NORWAY’s Railway Directorate has agreed a temporary direct award contract with incumbent Vy to operate central and east sections of the national network - which make up the future Traffic Packages four and five - beyond its current contract, which is due to expire in December 2022.

The Traffic Package 4 tender was postponed in June 2020 due to the uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The tender was relaunched in March and bidding by pre-qualified parties is now set to conclude on August 31. The future operator will be confirmed in early 2022 to commence operation in December 2023. The Railway Directorate also announced in March that it would also delay tendering Traffic Package 5 by a year in order to avoid a potential conflict with Traffic Package 4.

The Railway Directorate expects to award the Traffic Package 5 contract in early 2024 for operation to start in December 2025. The new direct award contract with Vy will remain in place until the start of the Traffic Package 5 agreement and the transfer of all services concerned to the new operator.