Plans for High-Speed Rail Set to Move Forward in 2018

New developments are on the horizon regarding the ongoing discussions about linking Iceland’s Keflavík International Airport to the Reykjavík Capitol Region by high-speed train. The latest is that municipal authorities for the areas through which the train would pass—Reykjavík, Kópavogur, Hafnarfjörður, Reykjanesbær and Garðarbær—will sign a contract to begin preparatory work and research for the project in February 2016.

Plans for the rail line are still in the beginning stages, with investors and local parties aiming to begin actual work within the next three years. According to the Project Manager Runólfur Ágústsson, the venture may commence production in 2018 and be finished by 2024. The estimated cost of the project is 105 billion ISK (37.5 million EUR).

Before the work can begin, assessments are still being made as to the impact of a high-speed rail line on the surrounding environments. The rail will run above ground from the airport to the outskirts of Hafnarfjörður, where it will then run through an underground tunnel the rest of the way to the main bus terminal in central Reykjavík, BSÍ.

The train itself will be electric and will travel at a maximum speed of 250 kilometers per hour (155 mph). This will reduce the travel time from the airport to the capitol from 40-50 minutes by car or bus to roughly 15-18 minutes by train. The cost of a regular ticket is expected to be within the range of 800-3.800 ISK (approx. 6-11 EUR). Reduced fares will be made available to regular commuters and students.