Upgrades cross-border railway line

Up to twelve daily freight trains haul iron ore from Sweden to Narvik in northern Norway. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Norwegian government allocates €212 million for upgrading Ofoten Line from the port of Narvik to Sweden to meet increasing iron-ore transport.


The investments on the Norwegian side of the border follows a Swedish decision in 2011 to improve the capacity in the railway line. Iron-ore mining in northern Sweden are on sharp increase and the Swedish companies are using the ice-free port of Narvik on the Norwegian side of the border for shipments to the world market.

Marit Arnstad, Minister of Transport and Communications, says to the local newspaper Fremover that the NOK 1,6 billion (€212 million) will be spent on new sidings making it possible for longer iron-ore trains to cross each other on the single track railway.

Arnstad says a possible full-length double track on the line from Narvik to the border will be decided later after a study is made.

The Ofoten line from Narvik to the Swedish border is 42 kilometers long. On the Swedish side, the railway is named the Ore Line and continues to Kiruna and further towards Luleå. Sweden invests some €400 million in road and railway upgrade serving the fast growing mining industry in the area. 

Europe’s by-far largest iron-ore miner, LKAB in Kiruna, is increasing its production by 35 percent by 2015 by opening three new open-pit mines in the Svappavaara area between Gällivare and Kiruna. In addition, the newly started Northland Resources shipped their first iron-ore concentrate to the world market from the port of Narvik last month. The company’s mine is located near Pajala.