The number of tourists who visit the country annually has reached levels that make it sustainable to run a train from the international airport in Keflavík to Reykjavík, according to Runólfur Ágústsson, who has headed a committee that has researched the matter in recent years.
“The increase in tourism means that we can easily cover the establishing and operating costs of the project,” Runólfur told Rás 1. “Of course taking the train will be more expensive than taking the bus. We estimate that passengers will need to pay double what they do now, but instead they can make the trip to Reykjavík in 20 minutes, instead of the one hour it takes now.”
Last October, the exploratory committee announced that the project had entered the planning stage and that deals had been struck with municipalities around the airport regarding its construction. The train is set to run every fifteen minutes and be able to transport around 2,400 passengers an hour.
As well as serving travellers going through the airport, the train would also have the added benefit of allowing locals to move quickly to and from the capital, allowing them easy access to jobs in other municipalities.
The project is estimated to cost around 100 billion Icelandic krónas.
Our lonely train
Famously Iceland has only ever had one train in its history—a green steamer the sits on three meters of tracks by the harbour. We at the Grapevine are big supporters of trains since most of us don’t have cars—let’s just say due to environmental reasons and not the ehem “wages” of journalists. But we can’t help but wonder about the impact thousands of partiers from Iceland’s notoriously most dangerous region will have on Saturday nights in the capital. Maybe we can hire the Mountain to join the editorial staff.