Hareide tested the new reclining seats in Bergen
- I am incredibly pleased that those travelling by train can now look forward to an improved night train service with new reclining seats, said Transport Minister Knut Arild Hareide, while trying out one of the new seats set to be installed on the Bergen Line from next year.
Over the next year, Norske Tog will be installing the new reclining seats on all long-distance railway lines in Norway. This will be a supplement to the sleeping carriages, and will provide travellers with an improved, more comfortable night service.
The Transport Minister, Knut Aril Hareide, was in Bergen on 2 September, testing out the new reclining seats that will be available in as of next year. Hareide got to sit in one of the spacious seats that can be fully reclined.
- I don’t think I’ve ever been this comfortable on the campaign trail, a pleased Hareide said while stretching out on the recliner, of which train operator Vy has on display in Bergen Station.
Sørlandet Line first up
The reclining seats set to be installed on the Vy-operated Bergen Line will be available to book from next autumn. 46 seats will be installed in total, divided between two carriages.
However, the trains used on the Sørlandet Line will be equipped with these seats first, and passengers will be able to enjoy these new options on the overnight service as early as February/March next year. Train operator Go-Ahead will be offering passengers this option on their night trains. The overnight services between Oslo and Stavanger will also be adding 60 of these comfortable reclining seats, divided between two carriages, which will supplement their current sleeper carriages.
During the summer of 2022, the Nordland and Dovre Lines which are operated by SJ Norge will also see a four carriages fitted out with 30 reclining seats each, with a total of 120 recliners available on the routes. These seats will be available for both the day and night services.
"Our window to Europe"
The Czech company Borcad will be providing the seats that will be installed on the Sørlandet, Nordland and Dovre lines. The Norwegian company Georg Eknes AS will be providing the recliners for the Bergen Line.
- This assignment means a lot to us. The Bergen Line has been our window to Europe, said Ove Eknes, managing director of the small family-run business with premises just north of Bergen.
Eknes has previously produced thousands of seats for local train routes for various train companies across Europe. However, in recent years, the company has been focused on providing seats for the boat industry. Their contract with Norske Tog marks the company’s return to the train industry.
Customers have been demanding better night train services for a long time. This is a fantastic offer to all those who are seeking eco-friendly ways to travel, and I am convinced that this will lead to more travellers choosing to travel by train, rather than by car or plane.
Making train travel more attractive
The new reclining seats have come as a result of Parliament’s extraordinary allocation of NOK 80 million to help improve the night train services on offer for travellers.
- Customers have been demanding better night train services for a long time. This is a fantastic offer to all those who are seeking eco-friendly ways to travel, and I am convinced that this will lead to more travellers choosing to travel by train, rather than by car or plane. In order to reduce the transport sector’s CO2 emissions, it is crucial that more people choose to travel by train, Hareide says.
A better night train service
After a competitive tendering process, Norske Tog, which owns the passenger train stock in Norway, has procured and will install the 226 new reclining seats, split across eight carriages. The reclining seats will be an additional option to the 20 already available sleeping carriages.
Borcad and Eknes were chosen following a public tendering process run on behalf of the Norwegian Railway Directorate.
- We look forward to meeting the request of the train operators to provide their passengers with a better overnight service. With the new recliners, travellers will be able to sleep from A to B, in an eco-friendly and comfortable manner, says Øystein Risan, CEO of Norske Tog.