Photo: Sverre Hjørnevik
Fjord Tours Articles / 14 Jan 2022

Norwegian Railway Heritage and History

Norway has so many incredible attractions and sights on offer that it can be hard to work out how you are going to see them all. Thankfully, the country has over 3,000 kilometres of scenic railways, connecting the north to the south, the east to the west. Many of Norway’s routes have been voted as the most beautiful in the world. Take a look at our overview of the best Norwegian railways and their history!

Norway offers amazing landscapes and train rides provide a comfortable, scenic and of course sustainable way of experiencing our country. Let's take a look at some of our favorite train rides in Norway!

Photo: Sverre Hjørnevik

The Flåm Railway

The Flåm Railway is one of the most famous railway journeys in Norway and a perfect option for those looking to experience scenic western landscapes and gorgeous fjords. The journey itself is only about 20 km, but packed with dramatic mountain scenery and snow-capped peaks rising far above the tracks, as well as stunning waterfalls falling below.

The Flåm Railway is one of the steepest railways in the world with an incline of 55% on almost 80% of its track. Completed in 1940, this route has become increasingly more popular as people appreciate the chance the railway gives to explore the mountains in a new way. This is a perfect trip to combine with a tour of the nearby fjords so you can experience the area both above and on the water. This spectacular train journey has been named one of the most beautiful in the world, so it's not one to miss!

Several of our tours include the Flåm Railway, and the Norway in a Nutshell® tour is a perfect way to experience this thrilling ride!

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The Bergen Railway

This railway runs between Bergen and Oslo, giving fantastic access to must-see towns as well as staggeringly beautiful scenery. The Bergen Railway is the highest in Northern Europe and, as you might have guessed, travels through quintessential Norwegian mountain scenery. It’s a great trip to combine with the Flåm Railway and double your train-fuelled fun. The Bergen Railway is included on several of our tours, also the popular Norway in a Nutshell® tour.

Completed in 1909, this route was one of the most challenging tracks for workers to lay due to the incredibly rough weather. The ever-changing environment is still a factor to this day, but with modern technology, you can ride the rails and see mother nature at work in comfort.

Photo: © NSB

The Dovre Railway

Celebrating its 100th birthday in 2021, the Dovre Railway is one of the most scenic railways in Norway – which is really saying something! At 548 kilometers long, the line runs between Oslo and Trondheim via some of Norway’s national parks such as the Dovrefjell mountain plateau. Around 300 wild musk ox live in this park and you may get lucky and spot one from your comfy seat on the train!

On your scenic journey, you’ll pass through a number of areas that can’t be reached by car, giving you a unique opportunity to see the many and varied landscapes of Norway. There are plenty of stops along this route and it’s a great one to choose if you are looking to connect with other famous lines such as the Nordland Railway and the Rauma Railway.

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Photo: Vy/Øivind Haug

The Nordland Railway

The Nordland Railway or Northern Railway is the longest railway in Norway and stretches from Trondheim to the south and Bodø to the north. You are most likely to take a sleeper train when you ride this line and will experience dramatic views both day and night. Traveling the 729-kilometer distance will take you about 10 hours. There is a large variety of environments waiting for you outside the train window, from farmland and forests to mountain ranges and coastlines.

If you travel during the winter, you may be treated to stunning views of the northern lights as you glide through the Saltfjellet mountain range. The train takes you deep into the polar region of Norway, so you’re sure to see some incredible sights as you wind through different landscapes. You’ll also stop at the historical city Mo i Rana, which is one of the oldest inhabited regions along the coast.

Kylling Bru II
Photo: SJ

The Rauma Railway

Although this rail journey will only take you an hour and 40 minutes, the Rauma Railway offers just as much of an experience as its longer siblings. This train is a sightseer's dream with large windows and comfortable seats specifically designed for watching the world go by.

This route is packed with highlights but some of the key ones that will stick with you are the picturesque Romsdalen valley, the dramatic Trollveggen rock face, and the unique Kylling bridge. In fact, the Kylling bridge is such a special sight that the train will slow down so you can fully take in your surroundings.

Norway’s railways are truly the best way to see all that the country has on offer. You get a unique insight into the country’s best bits, some of which you can’t see any other way. Rail travel is also one of the most sustainable ways to see the country so you can enjoy the view without worrying about losing it. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and book yourself onto the best train journey you’re ever going to have!