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TRAVELOGUE: A Journey Through Norway's Highest Railway, Complete with Unplanned Stops

TRAVELOGUE: A Journey Through Norway's Highest Railway, Complete with Unplanned Stops
photo: RAILTARGET/TRAVELOGUE: A Journey Through Norway's Highest Railway, Complete with Unplanned Stops
31 / 08 / 2023

We stayed in Oslo until Tuesday. The capital of Norway also has by far the largest railway station in the country. From Oslo, we headed to Bergen. The journey to the east of Norway was supposed to take 7 hours, but it took longer than planned.

Oslo Railway Station / RAILTARGET

Oslo has an unusually large station for Norway in terms of the number of tracks. There are 19 tracks in total, of which tracks 1-12 are through tracks and tracks 13-19 are located in the outpost of the central station. There is a train from track 10 to the airport every 20 minutes until late evening. There are a variety of shops and eating establishments in the concourse. Toilets, luggage lockers, Wi-Fi access, and seats, some of which have power sockets, are also commonplace.

Outpost of the Central Station / RAILTARGET

The station itself is about a 20-minute walk from the Royal Palace, and there are tram and bus stops right outside. There is also access directly from the concourse to one of the most northerly metros in Europe. The public transport links include boats that can be used to reach the surrounding islands. Tickets can be bought easily via the Ruter app, which includes a connection search.


We spent two days in Oslo and arrived at Oslo S (Sentralstasjon) Central Train Station before noon on Tuesday. The train was due to leave at 12.06 p.m., but on arriving at the platform, we were greeted by an empty track instead of a train and a notice on the light boards saying, "We are preparing the train." As time passed, the light board kept moving the estimated departure time, which was moved forward a quarter of an hour each time. Fortunately for us, after over an hour, the train showed up and departed at 1:22 p.m. The delay was probably caused by a locomotive breakdown.

The train consisted of a locomotive, manufactured by AD Tranz, and eight cars, the first of which was a first-class car (called Pluss), the fourth was a dining car, the third car contained the children's section, and the remainder was a classic second class. All the cars were large. The line was operated by the state-owned Vy company and was both compulsory seating and very busy. They consisted of older cars that had been upgraded to speeds of up to 200 km/h. The first class had a coffee machine and power sockets, and the carriage was unusually spacious compared to the second class. Much to our surprise, however, the train did not have Wi-Fi.

First Class / RAILTARGET

The set included a dining car, which was hopelessly full, even though the food in the dining car was about 10 NOK more expensive than if you took it with you on-site. At the same time, there was relatively little room in the dining car, so even just bringing food to the venue seemed a challenge. Again, the menu could be viewed using a QR code available at all locations, and the website could be switched to an English version as well. As well as food (if you're interested in the food truck's range, use the link), there were everyday items such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, and pencils. After much deliberation, we finally decided to choose pizza from the menu, and it was the right choice, even if the portion wasn't the biggest.

Dining car / RAILTARGET

The Oslo to Bergen line is the highest-ever railway in the whole of Norway, with the line from seaside Oslo climbing up to 1222m above sea level, which reaches Finse station before descending to the port of Bergen. This elevation is the main reason why the train takes 7 hours to cover the 450km route.

Dining car / RAILTARGET

Due to the continuing delays, which were also increasing, the conductor reported alternative connections for those missed by passengers due to the delays. We finally arrived in rainy Bergen with a delay of more than two hours a little after 9 o'clock, while the regular arrival was scheduled for 7.06 p.m. We left the train with an apology from the carrier.

Finse Station / RAILTARGET

Travel tip: Book your seat on the Oslo-Bergen train early as they usually sell out.