Katharina Hauptmann's picture

Yesterday I read something online that got me quite excited. As reported, the building of a high-speed train connection between Reykjavík and Keflavík Airport is being discussed.

This isn’t the first time this topic pops up—a few years ago I wrote about the very same project.

Establishing a railway for transit between the capital and the International Airport in Keflavík has been a recurring topic for a while now.

Already in 2001 a serious plan for a railway was drawn up and a feasibility study commissioned.

The idea was to build 50 kilometers of tracks between the two destinations and make use of local geothermal and hydroelectric resources.

However, the plans were later abandoned.

Years later, in 2008 to be precise, another proposal for a railway system was made and although the outlook was promising the project never happened because the damn financial crisis hit Iceland later that year and ruined it all.

And now, in 2015, we still don’t have trains in Iceland. Not a single one.

When I wrote my first railway article I was so enthusiastic about the possibility of maybe getting this train connection with the airport. But as it never happened my railway dream became wishful thinking.

I’m still a huge fan of the idea, though. It would be more than brilliant being able to hop onto a train in central Reykjavík, where I live, and travel at high speed to arrive at the airport terminal only 15-17 minutes later.

Currently, the only connection between those two stops is one road and the drive takes about 50 minutes if weather and traffic allow it.

Taking the shuttle bus to the airport is actually quite comfortable and well organized—I’m not complaining about that—but a much shorter train ride would of course be preferable, especially if you have to make this trip often.

This would make for a great improvement for the people living here and the growing number of visitors.

The current railway design suggests that the trains would depart from bus station BSÍ, go straight into a tunnel leading them underground through the greater Reykjavík area and stop once on its way to Hafnarfjörður, a town about ten kilometers south of the capital. Then the train would run overground for the remaining journey at an average speed of 175 km/h.

What a dream! Hopefully this time the railway system will actually be built… but I’m not getting my hopes up for nothing. Again.

If this airport train ever sees the light of day, I will look like this.

Katharina Hauptmann – katha.hauptmann(at)


Views expressed here are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Iceland Review.