Epic Train Journeys in Norway

10 min read

When travelling by train in Norway you can experience wild, dramatic and beautiful sceneries. These trips are not about getting somewhere the fastest way possible. It’s about sitting back and enjoying the ride. Several of the railway lines in Norway are listed as some of the most beautiful train journeys in the world. Here are 8 epic train journeys to explore in Norway.

The Rauma Railway (Raumabanen)

Voted Europe’s most scenic railway by Lonely Planet, one could easily argue that Raumabanen is Norway’s most beautiful train ride. Travelling between Bjorli and Åndalsnes in Romsdalen this journey offers incredible views of the wild and dramatic western Norwegian scenery. Marvel at Verma Waterfall as it plunges 380 metres down from the mountain edge, and see one of Norway’s finest engineering pieces – Kylling Bru – up close. With a 57 kilometre distance this ride is not the longest, but definitely a memorable one.

A lmost hugging Trollveggen, the Rauma railway line treats you to a spectacular views of Europe’s largest vertical rock face.

The Ofoten Railway (Ofotbanen)

Travel through a desolate, wild and beautiful landscape. Transporting you 43 kilometres on the Ofoten Line, The Arctic Train offers epic views, with rich and dramatic history as a backdrop, making your experience even more gripping. During the cool winter evenings you can step aboard the Northern Lights Train and chase the magical lights high up in the mountain, far away from the light pollution of the city. Read more about the Arctic Train or the Northern Lights Train

B ack in the 1800s the Ofoten Line was built to secure access to an ice-free port for the plentiful iron ore deposits from Sweden. At the most over 5000 people took part in the construction work, many of them itinerant workers, so called “rallers” seeking new opportunities.

The Bergen Railway (Bergensbanen)

Tracing Hallingdalen up to Hardangervidda, this railway line offers spectacular views of rivers, mountains and gorges. The railway reaches its highest point at Finse before passing Myrdal and following Raundalen past Voss to the beautiful blue fjords in Bergen. The Bergen Railway goes from Hønefoss to Bergen.

O riginally Bergensbanen was a 485 km long railway stretch between Oslo and Bergen via Drammen and Nesttun. Back in the early 1990s this line gave people the chance to travel between Bergen and Oslo (called Christiania at this time) in one day. In 1847 the steamboat took over 5 days. By train this 371 kilometre stretch lasts about 5-6 hours.

The Flam Railway (Flåmsbanen)

A short, yet scenic journey bringing you from Myrdal to Flåm Station. On Flåmsbanen you get a rare view of the dramatic western nature with impressive waterfalls, small farms clinging on to the steep rock wall, and majestic mountains towering over you. 80% of the journey has an uphill rise of 5,5%, making this one of the steepest railways in Europe. The journey 20,4 kilometres and lasts around 50 minutes.

Ending in Flam, at the end of Aurlandsfjord, (a branch of the Sognefjord) you can continue to explore the Norwegian western beauty as you step off the train. For the thrill seekers out there, Flam can offer Norway’s longest zipline. Rallarvegen – the road built to transport materials to the construction of the Bergen Railway, is an epic cycling route all bike lovers should explore.

The Dovre Railway (Dovrebanen)

Stretching 485 kilometres, from Eidsvoll to Trondheim, the Dovre line climbs up Dovrefjell to Hjerkinn. If luck is on your side, you might even be able to spot a musk or two on the beautiful mountain area of Dovrefjell. This is actually the only place in Norway you can observe musk in its natural habitat. Step off the train in Hjerkinn and continue the adventure with one of many mountain hikes in the area. The most well-known is Snøhetta, located 2286 metres above sea level.

A fter 70 years of construction work the Dovre Line officially opened in 1921. Passing through the Gudbrandsdalen valley, and crossing the beautiful Dovrefjell mountain areas, this railway takes you through several places not accessible by car. This stretch passes several stations with other noteworthy train lines connecting, including the Roros Railway, Nordland Railway, and Rauma Railway.

The Roros Railway (Rørosbanen)

This 383 kilometre line takes you from Hamar to Trondheim through pristine wilderness and the fairytale-like forest areas of Osterdalen. The train continues to Roros before ending up in Storen. From the comfort of your train seat you could spot the king of the woods, the moose peeking through the green scene. If Lady Luck happens to have bored the train with you, you could even spot species like wolverine, lynx, wolf and bear. Some species are more shy than others so keep your eagle eye glued to the window to make sure you don’t miss any surprise appearances.

L isted on UNESCO World Heritage List, the old mining town of Roros is worth a visit. Back in 1644 copper was discovered in the mountains around the town, marking the start of a “Norwegian Klondyke”, which again led to the founding of the city in 1966. Stop by Roros Museum and the Olavsgruppa copper mine, to learn more about the history of this area.

The Sorland Railway (Sørlandsbanen)

Stretching 549 kilometres from Oslo to Stavanger, this route may not be as known for its scenery as the rest of the train rides on this list. It is still a much more picturesque route than travelling by car via the highway. The railway brings you through lush valleys and forests before reaching the beautiful sea views. By adding a few stops, you could turn the Sorlandsbanen trip into a holiday by train – there are a lot of exciting family activities along the way.

W hen travelling on the Sorlands Railway, Kongsberg, the historical mining town, is about an hour away from Oslo, and worth stopping by. Visit the Kongsberg Church, The Lagdal Folk Museum, or the Norwegian Mining Museum. In Bo you can stop by Scandinavia’s biggest water park “Bø i Sommerland”, with lots of fun for the whole family. Explore Telemarkskanalen by boat on your next stop in Lunde, and check out the idyllic summer town of Kristiansand further south.

The Norland Railway

Norway’s longest railway line, between Trondheim and Bodo, takes you through a varied scenery rich with contrasts. Lush forest landscape, rigid and raw mountain areas, deep valleys and beautiful fjords – a picturesque journey from start to finish. On this 729 kilometre stretch you have a good chance of seeing reindeer – especially in the mountains.

Passing several places connected to WW2 and other historical sites, the Norlandsbanen railway line is an interesting stretch. Stop by the stunning Nidaros Domkirke, the historic Gothic cathedral built on the burial ground of the Viking King Olav II. Other highlights on this route include Stiklestad, the idyllic Golden Road, Namsskogan Wildlife Park, Bjorgefjell National Park, Saltfjellet, and Sjunkhatten National Park.

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