International Student Blog

Excursions: Bergen Railway

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!

 

Bergen Railway

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.

 

Bergensbanen_map

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

Cost

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.

 

 

jessheim_togstasjon_695

Image: http://sciencenordic.com/blind-friendly-vending-machine

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.

mapNSB

Image: https://www.nsb.no/en/our-destinations/map-of-railway-lines

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!

 

 

 

 

 

7 comments for “Excursions: Bergen Railway

  1. Alyssa
    17. July 2015 at 20:59

    You rock! Thanks so much for answering my questions!

    • Stand Hiestand
      18. July 2015 at 12:27

      Aw, you’re so welcome! Thanks for asking questions 😀

  2. David Fishbein
    17. August 2017 at 08:22

    I booked NSB tickets in October 2017 for Oslo > Bergen. I understand that the journey is ~7 hours.

    The map looks like it deviates to Flam. Is this just part of the loop, on the way to Bergen?

    Is there any time to leave the train at each stop for 5 minutes or are the departures immediate?

    Thank you,

    David

    • Stand Hiestand
      16. September 2017 at 17:39

      Hi there, David! While I am not an expert on NSB’s routes, my understanding is that, in order to get to Flåm, you would have to exit at Myrdal and take a separate train to Flåm. There isn’t a loop or deviation from Oslo to Bergen that I am aware of. And, in my experience, there was not really time to get out at the train stops, pretty much just a load/unload situation, but you can always ask the conductor 🙂
      Hope you enjoy your trip!

  3. David Fishbein
    23. October 2017 at 08:14

    Dear Stand,

    Great trip Oslo > Bergen (via NSB) > Kirkenes (via Hurtigruten).
    The NSB train from Oslo to Bergen was late by ~40 minutes which surprised me and then the “Komfort Class” carriage hot drink machine broke down 10 minutes into the journey! Komfort class passengers paid extra for this little drink option. After some time they brought out hot liquid thermoses and we continued to enjoy the refreshments. I was surprised that they were not too efficient but the ride was magnificent. Thanks for your tips.

    • Stand Hiestand
      4. November 2017 at 13:30

      Thanks for sharing and for your comment!

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