The study will look at a range of factors, including cost estimates and the economic viability of the line.

Three conferences were held over summer and autumn in Tromsø, Narvik and Fauske to ensure local and regional participation in the study.

The Railway Directorate says the meetings received a number of useful ideas, and established a strong line of communication with both the public and private sectors in the region.

While the two cities are only 300km apart, the journey by road is currently 480km long due to the challenging terrain in the area.

A reference group will be set up for the project. A preliminary report from the investigation is due to be sent out in the summer, while the completed report must be available late autumn.

The Ministry of Transport instructed the Railway Directorate to update cost estimates for the long-proposed project in November 2017.

For detailed information on rail projects around the world, subscribe to IRJ Pro.