My first big rail trip part 2: the Bergen Railway

Back in a pre-corona 2012 I got inspired by my friend Erik to make an epic rail trip through a part of Europe. I persuaded my best friend to tag along and together we decided to head north, to Scandinavia, to a part of Europe we both hadn’t visited yet and where fascinated about.

After the first part of our trip taking us through The Netherlands and Germany via stopover in Copenhagen, Denmark further along the western coast of Sweden and another stopover in Oslo, Norway we were now ready for the next stage of our trip. Today we would be travelling along the Bergen Railway from Oslo to Bergen.

Our train was still in the signature red and operating under classic NSB (Norwegian State Railways) name and brand at the time. It was composed of an electric El.18 locomotive pulling a rake of B7 coaches.

These where recently refurbished and offered new Recaro seats that had the advantage of being turned to face the direction of travel so most people were sitting and facing the ‘right’ direction. In the middle of the train there was a bar coach offering food and drinks at a take away counter. There was also a coach with a family playground for kids to play on and a “comfort”coach, offering more legroom and complimentary coffee and newspapers, the Norwegian version of first class.

The Bergen railway is famous in Europe for being the mainline on the highest elevation when crossing the Hardangervidda plateau at 1237 meters above sea level. The scenery along the line is stunning and gives a wonderful view over the rugged terrain of the Norwegian landscape. As the train runs over such a high section in the middle of the line we still crossed through some snowy terrain in the middle of June, which was truly spectacular.

The complete approximately 7 hours journey has also been broadcasted by Norwegian National Television Network NRK, as a slow TV programme.

Final stop of the line was Bergen, sometimes nicknamed the rainiest city of Europe. Even though it has a rainy reputation we had bright sunshine both days we were there. It has some very typical looking Norwegian buildings in the city centre, making it a nice place to wander around.

We also took the opportunity the travel on the Fløibanen, a cable railway climbing the Fløyen mountain and providing a panoramic view over the city.

Travelling on the Bergen Railway was truly a magnificent experience and hopefully I will get the chance to experience it again in the future. Have you travelled on the Bergen Railway and what did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!

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