Cristal of my Life


The train journey provides some of Norway's wildest and most magnificent scenery. On the 20 km-long train ride you can see rivers that cut through deep ravines, waterfalls cascade down the side of steep, snow-capped mountains and mountain farms cling dizzily to sheer slopes. The Flåm Railway is one of the worlds steepest railway lines on normal gauge. The gradient is 55/1000 on almost 80% of the line, i.e. a gradient of one in eighteen. The twisting tunnels that spiral in and out of the mountain are manifestations of the most daring and skilful engineering in Norwegian railway history. At the foot of the mountains you can enjoy the natural beauty of the Flåm Valley and admire the majestic Aurlandfjord, a branch of the world's longest fjord, the Sognefjord. The Flåm Railway has much to offer: wild and beautiful mountain scenery with snow-clad peaks, fertile pastures and historical traditions reaching back to pre-Christian times.

Surrounded by mountain up to 1400 metres high, the Flåm Railway starts its journey up to the mountains. The train leaves the blue fjord arm of the Aurlandsfjord and the mild and fertile coastal climate. After a climb of three kilometres you see the small, brown, wooden Flåm church, dating from 1667, nestling beautifully in the landscape. On the farm beside the church you can see the tall monumental stone erected in memory of the poet Per Sivle, who was born there. The splendid top of Vidmesnosi mountain towers skywards in the background, with the Rjoandefossen waterfall adorning it like a ceremonial ribbon. The impressive Rjoandefossen cascades 140 metres in a sheer drop down the mountainside.

The train leaves the green fields and orchards of the valley floor before continuing alongside the river and through tunnels. The Flåm Railway crosses the valley and river three times, but there are no bridges over the river. Instead of bridges, the river is led through the mountain in tunnels underneath the railway line.

At Berekvam station there is a twin-track section enabling trains to meet and pass each other. There are beautiful views of wild, rugged mountains and a series of rushing streams coursing down the valley slopes, with the foaming river far below in the deep and narrow ravines.

At Blomheller, travellers become aware that there is another side to the Flåm Valley besides idyllic and beautiful scenery. The mountainside is full of marks and traces of avalanches, a reminder that natural forces have many a time put fear and awe into the hearts of travellers.

The modern mountain goat-farm at Kårdal is set up by the farmers of the Flåm Valley on the mountain pastures, it is a new and interesting feature. The 150 goats have been highly popular with photographers. The landscape surrounding the mountain farm has an abundance of beautiful scenery - scenery the likes of which is seldom seen, with green pastures beside the river, slopes covered in lovely birch woods and snow-clad peaks in the background.

As the train exits Nåli, the Flåm Railway's longest tunnel (1320 metres), you will catch a glimpse of the most spectacular and interesting view on the railway's ascent to Myrdal - the railwaytrack on four different leavels in the mountain side and and a part of Myrdal station. At the same time, you will see the old road winding its way via 21 hairpin bends up the steep Myrdalsberget mountain.

The train stops at Kjosfossen. There is no other place on earth where rail travellers have the chance to see such an impressive waterfall as from the platform at Kjosfossen. High up on the horizon you see the white water cascading off the steep mountain side. The rushing river of water dissolves into foam with a thunderous roar as it hits the mountain on its way down.

The train passes through a hairpin tunnel that turns 180°, an opening in the tunnel affording a panoramic view of the wild landscape. Several hundred metres straight down from the carriage window the river resembles a silver ribbon lying on the valley floor, while you see the steep mountainside with the rail track cut into a narrow ledge.

The train passes Reinungvatnet, a truly beautiful mountain lake before you get your last magnificent view of the mountains and moorland at Vatnahalsen. Vatnahalsen Hotel, also known as the Nordic "St. Moritz", is situated here. It is a popular mountain hotel, open all year, where you can find inner peace on several mountain tracks, on the Navvies' Road cycling track or in great skiing terrain in winter.

The journey continues through snow-shelter tunnels. An opening in the landscape affords a last glimpse of the Flåm Valley before you arrive at the final stop on the Flåm Railway - Myrdal station. Travellers continuing on the Bergen Railway, have to change trains at Myrdal.

The most time-consuming work was on the tunnels. These were excavated manually. Only two of the twenty tunnels, which have a total length of 6 km, were excavated using machines. Every metre of tunnel cost the labour force, the navvies, up to a month's hard work. The labour force, 120 strong at the outset, rapidly increased to 220.

The steep mountainsides were a major challenge, the solution being to build hairpin tunnels in order to equalise the big differences in altitude on the steep mountain. The danger of avalanches and rock falls also constituted a problem. To avoid these hazardous stretches, the line crosses the river and valley three times during the journey, but it does not cross the river on bridges. Instead, the river is led through the mountain in tunnels underneath the railway line.

The Flåm Railway was opened temporarily for steam engines on 1 August 1940. The newspapers reported that the first train "honoured" the navvies by carrying freight in the cars. The railway was opened for passenger traffic not long afterwards, with two trains in each direction that connected at Myrdal with the day trains on the Bergen Railway. Electrification of the Flåm Railway was completed in 1944 making it one of the first Norwegian railway lines to be electrified. The journey took an hour and a quarter as against one hour today.

Traffic estimates carried out in 1908 and 1915 forecast 22,000 passengers a year on the line. The result soon turned out to be much better. A new record of 582.826 passengers was set in 2007. On the other hand, goods traffic on the railway has been reduced to a minimum. The increasing proportion of tourists from the whole world has led to the Flåm Railway becoming one of the most popular as well as spectacular tourist attractions in Norway.

On 1 Januar 1998 Flåm Utvikling as took over marketing and product responsibility for the Flåm Railway from NSB AS (the Norwegian State Railways), making it one of Norway's few privately-owned railways. NSB AS is still, as responsible operator, responsible for for security, handeling and actual running of the trains. Flåm Utvikling as aim is to consolidate and further develop the Flåm Railway and the Flåm / Aurland region to make it one of the best tourist destionations and experience-centres in Scandinavia.

Nowadays, the Flåm Railway presents a new face to the world - with engines and carriages in natural green, new interiors, and a unique guide-and-loudspeaker service, with information in several languages. The train journey has been given a new dimension by extending the platforms and improving the viewing points. Our completely new fleet of trains comprises of 5 engines and 12 new carriages, thus guaranteeing an unforgettable train ride passing through the best scenery in Norway.

The Flåm Railway
Length 20,20 km
Altitude difference 863,6 m
Upper station 865,5 metres above sea level
Lower station 2 metres above sea level
Steepest gradient 55 ‰ - 1:18
Stretch > 28 o/oo 16 km-79,3%
Minimum curve radius 130 m
Track width/gauge 1435 mm
Voltage 15.000 V-16 2/3 Hz
Maximum speed 40 km/h
Duration of journey Approx. 60 min.
Brake systems 5
Tunnels 20
Bridges 1
Water tunnels 4
Stops/halts 8

Station Altitude (m) Myrdal Flåm
Myrdal 866 0,00km 20,20km
Vatnahalsen 811 1,13 19,07
Reinunga 768 2,20 18,00
Kjosfoss 669 4,40 15,80
Kårdal 556 6,34 13,86
Blomheller 450 8,40 11,80