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Strike leaves Norway’s trains at a standstill: here are your rights as a passenger

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Strike leaves Norway’s trains at a standstill: here are your rights as a passenger
File photo: Softulka/Depositphotos
13:00 CEST+02:00
Thousands of passengers across Norway are experiencing delays on Thursday as a result of industrial action.

Rail, bus, tram and Oslo Metro (T-bane) traffic are all affected by the strikes.

The industrial action, which began at 12pm on Thursday and was scheduled to continue until 2pm, is in protest at EU rail regulations.

Norwegian Rail Drivers’ Union (Norsk Lokomotivmannsforbund, NLF) chairperson Rolf Ringdal told NRK the strikes were in protest “against implementing the EU’s fourth rail package in Norway”.

The EU programme includes provisions which will make it easier to approve new trains and give safety certificates to train makers, according to the Norwegian Ministry of Transport.

NLF is against the new EU regulations, which it says will make Norway’s rail less democratic by reducing the extent to which voters can influence the country’s railways.

“The EU wants to make it mandatory to have competition in public transport. We think that will weaken a coherent rail service in Norway,” Ringdal told NRK.

Opposition MPs in support of the strike, including Labour leader Jonas Gahr Støre, were present at Eidsvolls Plass in Oslo to give speeches, the broadcaster reports.

“What is happening to Norway’s railway now is a step in the wrong direction. It is being pulverized and split up. A country with our geography needs strong control and coherent politics for the railway,” Støre told NRK.

The Norwegian Consumer Council (Forbrukerrådet) has advised passengers to check travel information with rail or public transport operators and to go to departure points unless advised otherwise.

If trains do not depart, passengers are entitled to a refund on tickets or price concessions on season tickets.

If delays over 60 minutes occur, passengers may be entitled to provision of food and drink. This depends on certain circumstances (such as whether food is available on board trains or whether the operator is able to provide food at a reasonable and fair cost).

Passengers can also make claims for alternative transport costs or costs of food purchased themselves due to cancellations or delays.

The consumer council advises passengers to contact the relevant company (such as national rail operator Vy, formerly known as NSB) to make claims and Forbrukerrådet if further advice is necessary.

Claims can be made with Vy via this link.

Complaints can be made to the Public Transportation Complaint Handling Body for rail (Transportklagenemnda for tog).

Further strikes are possible later this month, with the Norwegian Rail Union (NJF) having confirmed plans to strike from 2-4pm on Thursday October 31st, NRK reports.

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