Traffic Package North includes the following services:
- long-distance trains and overnight trains on the Trondheim - Bodø Nordlandsbanen
- long-distance trains and overnight trains on the Oslo - Trondheim Dovrebanen
- Bodø - Rognan regional services
- Lundamo/Melhus - Trondheim - Steinkjer (Trønderbanen) regional services
- Dombås - Åndalsnes (Raumabanen) regional services
- Heimdal - Trondheim - Storlien (Meråkerbanen) regional services, and
- Hamar - Røros - Trondheim regional services
The directorate says SJ Norge was selected following a “tight and even” competition with incumbent operator Vy Tog (formerly NSB). Vy Tog’s offer was “marginally better” in terms of quality, but SJ Norge offered a much stronger financial bid, nudging it ahead in the price/quality ratio.
In both bids, the price on offer was significantly lower than current operating costs.
The contract is due to be signed at the end of June following a 10-day standstill period. The eight-year deal begins on June 7 2020 and includes an option for a two-year extension.
Under the new contract, there will be extra weekday services between Oslo and Trondheim, two-hourly Røros - Hamar services, and extra weekday and evening services on other routes. Trondheim - Hell - Storlien (Sweden) services will also be increased from two to three trains per day in each direction.
The Togbuss concept will be developed to improve connections to towns and villages away from the rail network, dynamic pricing of tickets will be introduced, and dining services will be improved. There will also be a new premium offer on long-distance services including at-seat breakfast, coffee, access to new SJ lounges in Oslo and Trondheim, and better access for passengers with reduced mobility.
SJ Norge will lease its fleet from state-owned rolling stock company Norske Tog. The contract includes incentives for the testing of zero-emissions trains on non-electrified lines.
Staff transferring from Vy will retain their current salary and working conditions.