dcsimg Greening Norwegian trains - Ramboll Group
05 June 2017

Greening Norwegian trains

Many Norwegian trains run on diesel, but biogas may be a green and cost-efficient alternative. Ramboll has been commissioned with a feasibility study.

Ramboll is carrying out a study for Norsk Gassforum – a collaboration between 12 regional authorities promoting the use of natural gas, biogas and hydrogen in Norway – to investigate the feasibility of replacing diesel by biogas on the railroads that still run on fossil diesel.

”Even though most trains in Norway run on electricity, some railroads and regional trains, particularly in the northern part of Norway, still run on fossil diesel. This is the case for Norway’s longest railroad, the 700 km long Nordlandsbanen”, says project manager Arne Fredrik Lånke.

”If these railroads were to be converted to electricity, it would require massive investments and take a long time. Biogas, on the other hand, can be gradually introduced in a relatively short time and may lead to a CO2 reduction of more than 20,000 tonnes”, he adds.

Multi-disciplinary project

”This is an important project for us, seeing that we are working on positioning ourselves as the leading consultant in the fast growing niche of renewable energy for transport ”, says Lånke.

Ramboll previously carried out a similar study in Finland.

In addition to Ramboll’s Energy division, the division for Planning and Urban Design and Ramboll in Finland have contributed to the report.

Sufficient biogas production

Trains running on gas is an upcoming trend internationally, especially in North America and Russia. The required conversion technology is therefore already available.

”The Norwegian biogas market is growing. The fuel has for many years been used by busses and is well suited for heavy transport”, says Lånke.

”Another important aspect is whether there will be enough biogas available in Norway. We believe there will be. Ramboll is involved in three projects that will double the biogas fuel capacity during 2018. In the report, we will also look into how environmentally friendly the specific value chains are. We already know a lot about this from our work with the individual biogas plants”, says Lånke.


Learn more

Planning and Urban Design
Planning and Urban Design
Two thirds of the world’s population are predicted to live in cities by 2050 and according to the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity 60% of the urban areas expected to be developed by 2030 that have not yet been built.
Learn more here.

Biogas facility
In terms of global warming and independence of fossil fuels, biogas has a number of advantages. Produced from biodegradable wastes, biogas can be used for the production of low-carbon heat and electricity and can be upgraded for use as a vehicle fuel.
Learn more here.


Arne Fredrik Lånke
Arne Fredrik Lånke
Market responsible for Energy for Transport, Ramboll
T+47 97 43 65 62
Johan Narvestad Fatnes
Johan Narvestad Fatnes
Acting Department Manager, Rail, Ramboll Norway
T+47 414 18 736