Another post by request, I’m taking you out of town today… A commentor said, “I’m curious about the Bergen Railway. It’s my understanding this may not be the cheapest travel, but what locations can you travel to on the railway to tour more of the country? Is this trip reasonable for a a weekend, or does it require more time?” Thanks for your question, let’s get into getting out of town by rail! Remember, there are other ways to take excursions, including ferries, which we can explore as a separate post!
NSB, a Nordic Transport Group, operates passenger trains in Norway including the Bergen Railway. The term ‘Bergen Railway’, technically the line between Bergen and Hønefoss, is often used to indicate the 496 kilometer (308 mile) route from Bergen via Drammen to Oslo, The Bergen Railway, which crosses the Hardangervidda plateau 1,237 meters (4,058 ft) above sea level, is the highest mainline railway line in Northern Europe.
Image: “Bergensbanen map” by ChrisO – Demis Map Server (http://www2.demis.nl/mapserver/mapper.asp) data with additional annotations and modifications by self.. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bergensbanen_map.png#/media/File:Bergensbanen_map.png
Prices for NSB vary on a variety of different factors including the destination. There is a student discount of 25% off on ordinary fares (bring your student ID along!). There are also “Minipris” tickets, fares starting at NOK 249,- on NSB Regiontog (intercity) departures, these have limited availability, their prices may vary, and may be less available for popular destinations. These can’t be exchanged or refunded, and must be purchased no later than the day before departure.
Time and place(s)
So, as you can see from the map above, the Bergen Railway proper includes Dale, Voss, Myrdal, Finse, Geilo, Gol, Nesbyn, Flå, Hønefoss, Drammen and Oslo. This is a long train ride, about 7-8 hours. So, whether or not it would work for a weekend, depends on your preferences for how long you want to be in your destination as opposed to traveling. The Bergen Railway is legendarily beautiful, and there are night train options, so perhaps you won’t mind the long journey. You can even experience the Bergen Railway from the comfort of your own home, through the lulling pleasure of slow TV (another subject which deserves its own post).
Touring the country
Our commentor also asked about exploring more of Norway. NSB does also have train lines all throughout the Country. You can check out some of the other lines and their destinations here.
Check out the map of all NSB’s stations on their website, you can zoom in in more detail there.
Actually, I’m going to have some first hand experience with Bergen Railway this week, as I head over to Voss (then bus to Flåm and boat back to Bergen) maybe I can update everyone one next week on the train-ride! Until then, does anyone have recommendations for where to explore in Norway? Stay tuned for future posts where we can explore potential destinations!