Road traffic affects climate most, and such traffic will decrease as a consequence of Skagerrakbanan. Railways are far more eco-friendly than other modes of transport. Also, Skagerrakbanan will be fully electrified to reduce CO2 emissions, pollution and noise.
Traffic distribution is normally 30% by rail and 70% by road. The high-speed rail line will reverse this relationship to 70% rail and 30% road. Seven million car journeys between Gothenburg and Oslo equates to 4.9 million new train passengers on Skagerrakbanan. A high-speed train emits 2 grams of CO2 per kilometre, equivalent to 0.6 kg CO2 between Oslo and Gothenburg; a car will produce the same CO2 emissions in just 3 kilometres.
Building the track above ground on viaducts conserves nature and wildlife. Its impact on agriculture and nature is nowhere near as great as that of a railway at ground level. The land can be cultivated and wild animals and domestic animals alike can continue to live, roam and graze beneath the viaduct as they always have. The risk of wildlife accidents and human fatalities is virtually non-existent. There are no level crossings at all. Nor are any animals disturbed by night trains as the high-speed trains will not run at night.
For the following reasons, Skagerrakbanan is not considered hazardous to, or to have a significant impact on, the environment:
- Dangerous goods will not be transported on the line.
- There will be no night-time traffic during the silent hours between midnight and 05:00.
- The maximum noise level is 70 dB (conventional rail 95 dB; E6 motorway 85 dB), which corresponds to 60 km/h on the E6.
- High-speed trains do not generate emissions harmful to humans or animals, nor do they affect the climate.
- Society accepts the discharge of toxic substances from vehicles on the E6, and the presence of fuels that are flammable or explosive, neither of which applies to Skagerrakbanan.
- A concrete viaduct structure occupies only 2 m2 of land per track metre, while an E6 motorway lane occupies 32 m2 of land per road metre.
- Skagerrakbanan will help eliminate the need to expand the E6 by two 64 m2 per m lanes, one in each direction Gothenburg to Munkedal and Sarpsborg to Oslo, thereby avoiding an increase in climate emissions.
- Wildlife and agriculture will only be minimally affected by the line, as 50% is viaduct and 30% tunnels.
- The aquatic environment is not affected by Skagerrakbanan. The E6 motorway affects the aquatic environment due to discharges of lubricating oil and fuel from vehicles.
- Skagerrakbanan will not disturb protected natural areas with ground-level tracks.
- The visual impact is not environmentally hazardous.