Norway’s state-owned company Bane NOR has issued two contracts for the doubling of the track on the Vestfold mainline.

The total cost of both contracts is estimated to be NOK5.62bn ($613m).

The first contract was awarded to Salini Impregilo and Impresa Pizzarotti. It is valued at NOK3.66bn.

The companies will be responsible for the substructure work along 13.6km of double track from Nykirke, which is located south of Holmestrand, to Barkåberg, which is north of Tønsberg.

The scope of work includes the construction of two bridges, Skoppum station and three tunnels of total length 5.3km.

The new Skoppum station will be located 1.3km southwest from the current station.

Impresa Pizzarotti Foreign Division managing director Giorgio Cassina said: “The contract is also an important milestone, which marks the beginning of our establishment in Norway, and we believe that our companies can be extraordinary contributors in the implementation of the National Transport Plan.”

The second contract, valued at NOK 1.96bn, has been awarded to Veidekke Entreprenør.

The company will undertake construction of a 6km rock tunnel from Drammen to Kobbervikdalen.

Bane Nor acting development director Stine Ilebrekke Undrum said: “When the double tracks are scheduled to be ready for use by the end of 2024, we will have continuous double tracks between Drammen and Tønsberg.

“Then the capacity of the route will be more than doubled, and it will be possible to run two trains per hour each way between Oslo and Tonsberg. This will give travellers on Vestfoldbanen a better and more efficient everyday life”

Last year, French company Alstom won a contract from Bane NOR to install on-board train control systems on the entire Norwegian railway fleet.