Rail Test Nordic (RTN) continues to inch closer towards establishing a unique test track for trains between Jörn and Arvidsjaur. Main actors in the public sector from both Norrbotten and Västerbotten, such as the regional county administrative boards and the municipality of Arvidsjaur, have now stated their support of the project in a written statement.
The municipality of Skellefteå, the other municipality concerned, has previously declared its support for converting the existing but discontinued train section into test operations.
“The establishment of test operations is of benefit for the region as it provides an opportunity for jobs in sparsely populated areas. It is also of benefit for Sweden and Europe as it gives the Swedish and European railway industries better conditions to test their products. This can contribute to better railway systems in Sweden and Europe,” writes the County Administrative Board of Västerbotten in a comment to the Swedish Transport Administration, the authority that owns and manages Sweden's railway network.
RTN and the Swedish Transport Administration will now continue their dialogue with affected Sami villages that conduct reindeer husbandry in the area around the railway section. The Sami villages have expressed concern that train operations could cause significant disturbance to their operations.
“We feel strong support in our work of establishing the train test track. We will do everything to find good solutions together with affected Sami villages, landowners, and other stakeholders,” says Lars-Åke Tjernström, founder of Rail Test Nordic, in a statement to the regional newspaper Norran.