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Arae et foci
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Most obvious solution.

If domestic terminal get moved to other side of domestic airport, near Nauthólsvegur, then it would make good place for intermodal station. Transfer possibilities between domestic and international flights would become seamless. Railway would reach it through a tunnel under Öskjuhlíð.

And to kill two birds with one stone I would recommend wider bend to make a stop near Blue Lagoon. It will be much more economically viable. Of course bus lobby will be protesting against it...

Keflavik station under terminal, Blue Lagoon station on the ground level, Hafnarfjörður station under Fjörður bus terminal, Kópavogur station under Hamraborg and Reykjavik station over ground connecting with relocated domestic terminal and BSI bus station.

56 km in lenght, and they could even name one of their trains Blue Lagoon Express ;)

 

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More developments released today... a feasibility study was recently completed and it’s been determined that the project would be best funded by private investors. The estimated turnover the project could generate is is between 40 and 60 billion ISK.

The article states that preparatory work could begin as early as 2015, and construction by 2018. The first passengers could be using the service by 2023.

The route will be about 47km in total, 12km in tunnels (at the Reykjavík end). The Reykjavík terminus would be at BSÍ, the current coach station. The study accounts for 4 trains of 5 passenger carriages in addition to freight, running at 4 trains per hour at peak times and 2 trains per hour off-peak, from 5am to 1am.

More info is on the website fluglestin.is (in Icelandic). The study can be found here (in Icelandic), including possible routes.

The article with more info is available on Vísir (in Icelandic).
 

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Discussion Starter #85
This is very interesting. When I started this thread in the middle of a brutal recession and it seemed like a silly fantasy but here we have a report that suggest it could be done as a private project without direct state/municipal funding. Some unorganized notes:
* The tourism boom of the last few years is what makes this possible. The bulk of the income would be single journey tickets to air passengers going between the airport and the city.
* The report bypasses a lot of complications regarding planning and permissions by putting the line underground in the entire Greater Reykjavík urban area (GRUA). It's a long tunnel but surely the quickest way to get it done since it avoids the lengthy legal and administrative process involved in a surface line through urban areas.
* Double track line on the surface but only a single track underground. It cuts a lot of the cost to only build a single tunnel tube and a single track tunnel shouldn't affect the capacity airport line much.
* The focus is entirely on airport to city center travel with only a single stop on the way in the southern suburbs of the GRUA. The plan assumes use by daily commuters between the GRUA and the town of Reykjanesbær but the terminal at KEF is inconveniently located for them. A single track tunnel under the GRUA doesn't have the capacity to be used for a transit line within the GRUA.
*The Reykjavík terminal is at BSÍ which is planned to grow into a transit hub for city buses and long-distance buses. I also suggested that in this thread, it seems like the only logical place.
*The report does not suggest the closing of Reykjavík's domestic airport but rather suggests that the train would be useful in connecting the two airports and allowing quicker transfers for international passengers on to domestic flights.
 

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Discussion Starter #86
The route of the line between the airport and the edge of the GRUA is pretty much established but there are several possibilites for what happens from there to the terminal in Reykjavík. I've laid down a few route options and potential stops.

The boundaries between municipalities are pink and the letters mark the four towns that the line needs to cross: Hafnarfjörður, Garðabær, Kópavogur and Reykjavík. That there are so many towns involved can complicate matters as I expect that they all have their own ideas about where to place stops. I put down five options for stops that I think are the likeliest to be considered.
1. Hamraborg: This was the original center of Kópavogur that has some commercial development although its best days are gone. It's also a major hub on the bus network. Probably too close to Reykjavík to be considered if there is only one stop on the line.
2. Smári: Currently the area of a large mall and Iceland's tallest office tower. More towers are planned and the town wants this area to become a big Central Business District and an alternative to Reykjavík for big companies. While the line has to swing further east to stop here, it makes a lot of sense as a stop.
3. Garðatorg: This is the only hint of a commercial core in a town that has a very suburban character. What it has going for it is the location between Kópavogur and Hafnarfjörður so it could work as a compromise.
4. Hafnarfjörður North: The north side of Hafnarfjörður could see some renewal in the coming years. It's fairly centrally located in the area of the three towns.
5. Hafnarfjörður Central: Apart from the city center in Reykjavík, this is the only other "old" downtown the GRUA. It's a traditional core that is well connected with the rest of Hafnarfjörður but rather inconvenient for the other towns.
 

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Arae et foci
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That's how I see it. Red - underground, black - ground or overground sections.

If business need arises another station in Garðatorg can be constructed, they can future proof it by builidng and empty shell.

And why they don't see a business case in approaching the railway to Blue Lagoon is beyond me...

What do you think, Bjarki?

 

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Discussion Starter #88
That's how I see it. Red - underground, black - ground or overground sections.

If business need arises another station in Garðatorg can be constructed, they can future proof it by builidng and empty shell.

And why they don't see a business case in approaching the railway to Blue Lagoon is beyond me...

What do you think, Bjarki?

This is pretty much what I was thinking. To have the line align with possible future stations to make a metro line easier to build at a later point.
 

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Discussion Starter #89
Here is a suggestion for two services running on the line. An express Flytrain service and a metro/commuter rail service:


The Flytrain would be operated by a private consortium that would pay for most of the infrastructure and in return receive an exclusive right to service the lucrative airport passenger market. The metro would be operated by the state and/or municipalities. Some metro stations might be partially funded by private real estate developers as well.
 

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Hello guys is there have any news about the railway project?

Few pages back I saw that you are planing it for 100-120 km/h speed with a diesel unit. Well Iceland produce huge amount of its electricity by geothermal renewable energy (around 87% to be correct) You simply don't need that Diesel unit option. I don't know about your electricity prices but am sure it ll be cheaper and a lot more ecological frendly if you use electrical units. Also about the speed. There is simply no point of such speed in developing country. Railway infrastructure projects from that scale are not builded for the next few days ahead, they should be built for decades ahead. I hope you ll make it at least for 160 km/h for conventional trains and 200 km/h for tilting trains and the terrain is also quite good for such speeds. The benefit of such fast traveling wont be felt today but after years when the two cities begin to grow. I am not very aware about your country an i might be wrong. But I hope you ll construct it with perspective.

Cheers :cheers2:
 

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Discussion Starter #91
Here is an interesting read about possible mass transit lines in Reykjavík with a focus on using such lines as a catalyst for urban regeneration. It seems like everybody that looks at it, bot officials and independent analysts, seem to gravitate towards the same basic layout for an west/east axis in Reykjavík that would make for a sensible light rail line.
 

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Discussion Starter #92
Hello guys is there have any news about the railway project?

Few pages back I saw that you are planing it for 100-120 km/h speed with a diesel unit. Well Iceland produce huge amount of its electricity by geothermal renewable energy (around 87% to be correct) You simply don't need that Diesel unit option. I don't know about your electricity prices but am sure it ll be cheaper and a lot more ecological frendly if you use electrical units. Also about the speed. There is simply no point of such speed in developing country. Railway infrastructure projects from that scale are not builded for the next few days ahead, they should be built for decades ahead. I hope you ll make it at least for 160 km/h for conventional trains and 200 km/h for tilting trains and the terrain is also quite good for such speeds. The benefit of such fast traveling wont be felt today but after years when the two cities begin to grow. I am not very aware about your country an i might be wrong. But I hope you ll construct it with perspective.

Cheers :cheers2:
Electrifying transport is an absolute priority in my mind and introducing rail options only to run them on diesel would be quite silly and defeat the point. The best way forward would be to greatly improve public transportation and run it on electricity, both buses and possibly trams as well. Iceland needs to too decrease its reliance on private cars for transport.
 

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Here is an interesting read about possible mass transit lines in Reykjavík with a focus on using such lines as a catalyst for urban regeneration. It seems like everybody that looks at it, bot officials and independent analysts, seem to gravitate towards the same basic layout for an west/east axis in Reykjavík that would make for a sensible light rail line.
This is an extremely interesting booklet. And I agree, I think the ideal is a west-east line, for starters.
 

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Very interesting, are there any talks about any other long distance railways like the ones you outlined in you original post to Vestmanneyjar or Akureyri?

Because an Akureyri line could potentially get a significant number of passengers it passes through some fairly large towns such as Borganes. The Vestamanneyjar line could also have a fairly high number of passengers, especially the the summer on the Þjóðhátíð weekend.

There could also be a significant volume of freight rail on both lines: on the Vesmanneyjar line there could be fish, but it also passes through Selfoss, where the county's milk is processed(and moved to Reykjavik) and Hvollsvöllur, where there is large industrial slaughterhouse(SS). These could give the line some viability, and also the fact that it would be relatively cheap to build as the land past Hveragreði is very flat.

The Akureyri line could generate some significant freight too. There are a number of fisheries on the coast and there is a lot of freight traffic to Akureyri from Reykjavik.

Regarding the Airport line, do you think the development team will be interested in making the line expandable/integrated with the metro network, because this would only increase the cost and length, but also the duration of the journey. I get a sense that the line is mainly to replace the busy bus services to and from the airport.
 

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Discussion Starter #95
Very interesting, are there any talks about any other long distance railways like the ones you outlined in you original post to Vestmanneyjar or Akureyri?

Because an Akureyri line could potentially get a significant number of passengers it passes through some fairly large towns such as Borganes. The Vestamanneyjar line could also have a fairly high number of passengers, especially the the summer on the Þjóðhátíð weekend.

There could also be a significant volume of freight rail on both lines: on the Vesmanneyjar line there could be fish, but it also passes through Selfoss, where the county's milk is processed(and moved to Reykjavik) and Hvollsvöllur, where there is large industrial slaughterhouse(SS). These could give the line some viability, and also the fact that it would be relatively cheap to build as the land past Hveragreði is very flat.

The Akureyri line could generate some significant freight too. There are a number of fisheries on the coast and there is a lot of freight traffic to Akureyri from Reykjavik.

Regarding the Airport line, do you think the development team will be interested in making the line expandable/integrated with the metro network, because this would only increase the cost and length, but also the duration of the journey. I get a sense that the line is mainly to replace the busy bus services to and from the airport.
The long distance lines to Akureyri or Vestmannaeyjar are complete fantasy at this stage. There was a time before the automobile became common that there were serious discussions about rail in Iceland. There are beautiful drawings of proposed plans for a Reykjavík terminal on the eastern edge of the city at that time with a line going to Hafnarfjörður to begin with and later to Selfoss as well. I can't even imagine how the urban landscape of the Reykjavík area would have developed differently if that had been done. Those lines might have reached Keflavík airport and Vestmannaeyjar ferry terminal by now. A northern line towards Akureyri would always have been a tougher sell because it has to pass through difficult terrain with expensive tunneling. Here is one suggestion from 1925 for a plan for Reykjavík that includes a rail terminal:



My thinking about the airport line is that there will probably never be a case for a underground rapid transit line in the Reykjavík area if it only serves as a urban transit line. However, if someone can build an airport line that makes business sense, then it would be a shame to blast tunnels under the Reykjavík suburbs and not use the opportunity to piggyback on that line. The private investors would run an airport line that is a premium express service but the state and communes would pay for the added cost of metro stations and run that service as public transport. The airport train would have to have priority and be able to bypass metro trains at the stations so it is not slowed down. But as I say, private funding for the airport line is the basis for this kind of plan.
 

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Discussion Starter #96
There are interesting things happening with an upcoming regional plan for the Greater Reykjavík area. Looks like there is now a consensus for a regionwide approach to planning that emphasises efficient public transit and the development of transit cores and corridors where development should be focused rather than spreading it out further. A urban growth limit is suggested that restricts new suburban fringe development at least until 2040. I don't have time right now to post some pictures but there are interesting proposals for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and/or light rail that I am going to post soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #97
First lets look at the definition of cores in the Reykjavík area:

The big box is downtown Reykjavík and is defined as a "national core", the site of government institutions, universities, national hospital and many companies. The smaller box is a "regional core" in the Smári area of Kópavogur. It has formed in the last 20 years as the most significant business district outside Reykjavík. The smaller circles are "local cores". Those are smaller centers of business and services around the urban area.

Abstract drawing of the cores and connections between them, these connections are meant to be upgraded to high quality transit corridors:


What follows is a speculation by an engineering an consultancy firm about the layout of a potential BRT or light rail system. The black lines are the entire "city line" system if all the cores are connected but the coloured lines are suggestions for where to start and how far we can get with an BRT system for a for a specified level of investment.

Most of the priority corridors can be covered for 50 billion ISK (green+red+orange).

Here are suggestions for BRT lines that would run on that system:


The same kind of map for a light rail system:

50 billion doesn't build as much light rail but should be enough for a main north-south line with a spur to Smári.

Potential lines on that system:


I thought this was interesting speculation. Looking at just Reykjavík in isolation usually leads to a focus on a west-east line as the first priority but taking the whole urban area into account (as one should, city boundaries are just arbitrary lines) it leads to more focus on a north-south line.
 

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Discussion Starter #99
Effective mass transit commuter rail requires a certain population density. The urban sprawl in Reykjavik has resulted in a pop density of 436,5 inhabitants/km² which is very low and this is why people depend so much on their cars.

Copenhagen has a pop. density of 7370 inhabitants/km²
Reykjavík is sprawly but not that sprawly. 436 inhabitants per km² is based on the total land area within Reykjavík city limits, most of which is mountainsides, nature reserves or designated agricultural areas that should not be factored in when estimating urban density. The density of the whole urban area of the Greater Reykjavík area is around 3500 inhabitants/km². That figure probably isn't comparable to the Copenhagen number as that one should probably be higher if one diregards unbuilt areas like in Amager. Reykjavík is sprawly by European standards but still a lot denser than US cities.

The upside of the sprawly density is that there is still plenty of space within urban limits to meet the housing needs of many years to come. Iceland has a young population and a high fertility rate in a European context so it can be assumed that the Reykjavík area will continue to grow for decades. It is estimated to add 70 000 new inhabitants by 2040 and if most of those are directed inwards rather than out to new suburbs, the city will look a lot different. I am not sure we could even put 70 000 people in new suburbs even if we wanted because it would absolutely crush the roads.
 

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First lets look at the definition of cores in the Reykjavík area:
The big box is downtown Reykjavík and is defined as a "national core", the site of government institutions, universities, national hospital and many companies. The smaller box is a "regional core" in the Smári area of Kópavogur. It has formed in the last 20 years as the most significant business district outside Reykjavík. The smaller circles are "local cores". Those are smaller centers of business and services around the urban area.

Abstract drawing of the cores and connections between them, these connections are meant to be upgraded to high quality transit corridors:

What follows is a speculation by an engineering an consultancy firm about the layout of a potential BRT or light rail system. The black lines are the entire "city line" system if all the cores are connected but the coloured lines are suggestions for where to start and how far we can get with an BRT system for a for a specified level of investment.
Most of the priority corridors can be covered for 50 billion ISK (green+red+orange).

Here are suggestions for BRT lines that would run on that system:

The same kind of map for a light rail system:
50 billion doesn't build as much light rail but should be enough for a main north-south line with a spur to Smári.

Potential lines on that system:

I thought this was interesting speculation. Looking at just Reykjavík in isolation usually leads to a focus on a west-east line as the first priority but taking the whole urban area into account (as one should, city boundaries are just arbitrary lines) it leads to more focus on a north-south line.
Where did you get these plans? It´s probably a very interesting read.

In June/July of this year, Samtök Steitarfélagana á Höfuðborgarsvæðinu (the collaberation between the councils in the capital area) released the new city plans from 2015. They outline how the city should grow, and shows development areas. The Mayor of Reykjavík has signed under this plan, among other officials.

ssh.is/svaedisskipulag - In icelandic

In this report, they outline a light rail system, called ´Borgarlína´, which seems to be the same system that Bjarki posted. This means that light rail transport is ´on the agenda´ for Reykjavik, but preemptive studies are still in the works. It will be interesting to see where this will head.
 
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