Inaugural Go-Ahead Nordic train left Stavanger for Oslo on 15 December
Eight-year contract makes Norway the fifth overseas territory in Go-Ahead’s business
The first rail contract to be awarded in Norway since market liberalised
Stavanger, Norway 15 December –British transport operator The Go-Ahead Group has launched Norway’s first privately-operated train service.
Go-Ahead Nordic’s inaugural service departed from Stavanger to Oslo at 06.47, representing the first journey of the new Norway South rail franchise.
The Norway South contract was awarded by the Norwegian authorities in October 2018. Go-Ahead – the owner of Southeastern and GTR in the UK - won the eight-year award with an optional two-year extension.
The new service covers three historic lines in Norway including the Jæren line, which dates back to 1878, as well as the Sørlandet and Arendal routes, covering a mixture of long-distance and suburban services across 5.5 million train kilometres.
David Brown, Chief Executive Officer at Go-Ahead said, “We are delighted to be given this opportunity to deliver Norway’s first contracted rail services.
“Working with the Norwegian authorities to bring our international rail expertise and our customer focus together to deliver Norway’s first contracted rail service is another step forward for Go-Ahead.”
The Norwegian contract further builds on Go-Ahead’s international footprint, which has already seen the FTSE-250 listed transport operator launch services in Ireland, Germany and Singapore.
Magnus Hedin, Managing Director of Go-Ahead Nordic commented: “Our focus is on customer satisfaction, reliability and local decisions taken with our partners.
“We will be a local operator who understands Norwegian transport needs and the local Norwegian customers, while benefiting from extensive experience in the UK.”
Go -Ahead Nordic is expecting to carry more new passengers on the Jaerbanen and Sörlandsbanen routes during the period 2020-2025.
Since its creation a year ago, Go-Ahead Nordic has recruited 244 conductors, drivers and administrators.
Go-Ahead is one of the leading UK public transport operator companies. Our purpose is to be the local partner taking care of journeys that enhance the lives and wellbeing of our communities across the world. Employing around 29,000 people across our businesses, over 1.2 billion passenger journeys are undertaken on our rail and bus services every year. In addition to the travelling public, our customers include governments and local authorities. We are committed to contributing to tackling climate change, improving air quality and reducing social isolation, and aim to run a zero emission bus fleet by 2035.
Go-Ahead is one of the UK's largest bus operators. With a fleet of nearly 6,000 buses, we carry over two million passengers every day. We have a strong presence in London, with around 23 per cent market share, where we provide regulated services for Transport for London. Outside London, we principally serve high-density commuter markets, including the North East, Greater Manchester, East Yorkshire, East Anglia, South East and South West England. Internationally, we operate a bus contract in Singapore and two bus contracts in Ireland.
The rail division operates two franchises in the UK and two contracts in Germany. In the UK, Southeastern and GTR (Govia Thameslink Railway) operate through our 65% owned subsidiary, Govia, which is 35% owned by Keolis. It is the largest rail operation in the UK, responsible for around 30 per cent of all UK passenger rail journeys through its rail franchises. In Germany, our contracts are run exclusively by Go-Ahead.
Certain statements included in this press release contain forward-looking information concerning the Group’s strategy, operations, financial performance or condition, outlook, growth opportunities or circumstances in the sectors or markets in which the Group operates. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve uncertainty because they depend of future circumstances, and relate to events, not all of which are within the Group’s control or can be produced by the Group. Although the Group believes that the expectations reflected in such forward–looking statements are reasonable, no assurance can be given that such expectations will prove to have been correct. Nothing in this press release should be construed as a profit forecast and no part of these results constitutes, or shall be taken to constitute, an invitation or inducement to invest in The Go-Ahead Group plc or any other entity, and must not be relied upon in any way in connection with any investment decision. Except as required by law, the Group undertakes no obligation to update any forward looking statement.