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Transport group scoops Norwegian rail contract.

Byline: COREENA FORD Business writer coreena.ford@reachplc.com @Scoopford

NEWCASTLE Go-Ahead Group will operate Norway's first contracted rail services after signing a deal with the Scandinavian country's authorities.

The transport giant - which also runs the Go North East bus service as well as train services in London and other parts of the south - has been awarded the Oslo South package by the Norwegian authorities and the Norwegian Railway Directorate.

The contract involves close cooperation with the Kolumbus public transport company in the provision of both long-distance and suburban routes.

The firm says the contract builds momentum towards its 15% operating profit target by 2022 and contributes revenue of PS70m to the PS250m already secured. The eight-year contract, with an optional two-year extension, starts in December 2019 and covers 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. This is part of our targeted international strategy. We look forward to working with the Norwegian authorities to bring our international rail expertise and our customer knowledge together to deliver reliable and comfortable local services."

Go-Ahead said its structure and strategy will be led in Norway by Magnus Hedin and Cathrine Elgin, who will build a local team in Oslo, "focused on delivering new, modern and comfortable journeys for customers".

The Norwegian contract further builds on Go-Ahead's international footprint, which has seen the FTSE-250 listed transport operator launch bus services in Ireland and Singapore and win four rail contracts in Germany. Magnus Hedin, director of Go-Ahead Nordic said: "Our focus is on customer satisfaction, reliability and local decisions taken with our partners.

"We want to be a local operator who understands Norwegian transport needs and the local Norwegian customers, while benefiting from extensive experience in the UK."

CAPTION(S):

Services in and around Oslo will be provided by Go-Ahead and Kolumbus

David Brown, chief executive of Go-Ahead

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EXNO
Date:Oct 18, 2018
Words:324
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