Journey times through parts of the Norwegian city of Bergen have been cut by the opening of the 4.8km (three-mile) tramway extension from Lagunen to Birkelandsskiftet on 15 August. City mayor Mjøs Persen and Hordaland County Mayor Anne Gine Hestetun jointly cut the ribbon at a ceremony chosen to coincide with the end of the school summer holidays.
The new terminus is 2.4km (1.5 miles) short of the Bergen Flesland airport stop, which is expected to open early in 2017 at the same time as a new airport terminal 3 on top of the tram station. In the meantime, a shuttle bus is provided from the tram terminus.
The extension also serves a new 24 000m2 eight-track depot at Kokstad, which relieves the cramped original depot at Kronstad on an old railway yard, and has space for future expansion of the system as well to cater for lengthening of the Stadler Variobahn trams from 32m to 42m with new centre sections and new deliveries.
The newly-opened section of line involved building the new Birkeland bridge, two sections of tunnel, an underground 280-space park-and-ride facility at Flypassveien, and 4.2km (2.6 miles) of new cycle track.
The cost was NOK3.715bn (EUR400m) and construction took three years. The end-to-end running time from the city centre is 39 minutes, with a five-minute headway at peak periods.
Bergen’s Bybanen is operated by Keolis Norge on behalf of county transport agency Skyss.