The first contract, worth NKr 3.66bn, is for the Nykirke - Barkåker section and was awarded to two Italian companies, Salini Impregilo and Impresa Pizzarotti. The contract covers substructure work for 13.6km of double track from Nykirke, south of Holmestrand, to Barkåberg, north of Tønsberg. The work includes the construction of two bridges, three tunnels totalling 5.3km, as well as a new Skoppum station about 1.3km southwest of the existing station.

The second contract, worth NKr 1.96bn, was awarded to Veidekke Entreprenør for the construction of a 6km rock-drilled tunnel from Drammen to Kobbervikdalen.

“The double tracks are scheduled to be ready for use by the end of 2024,” says Ms Stine Ilebrekke Undrum, Bane Nor’s acting development director. “We will then have continuous double track between Drammen and Tønsberg, which will more than double the capacity of the route and make it possible to run two trains per hour each way between Oslo and Tønsberg.”