Flam Railway: The Most Beautiful Train Ride
Norway is home to some legendary scenery in Northern Europe and the Flam Railway (Flåmsbana) is among the most famous. It offers a panoramic view of Norway's wildest and most picturesque landscape. Flam Railway is the steepest standard-gauge railway in Northern Europe.
I took the train from Aurlandsfjord to the high mountains of Myrdal and ended at the Klosfossen Waterfall before taking the transfer from Myrdal to Voss. As the train started to move, I heard the announcement, “The Flam Railway is 20 kilometers long. Our journey will take about one hour. The steepest climb on the Flam Railway is 1 to 18.” There was also commentary in different languages along the way. Our guide warned us that we would not be able to take good photos from a moving train, but I kept my eyes peeled for the opportunity to take pictures.
The Flam Railway was one of the most amazing train rides I've experienced and the most beautiful. For me, it’s not the technology that made it more spectacular than the other train rides I experienced in the Taieri Gorge Railway in New Zealand and the Bernina Express in Switzerland, but the unsurpassed views of some of Norway’s most stunning scenery: mountain ranges, towering misty peaks, beautiful rivers, isolated village dotted with the quintessential red houses, and the most dramatic waterfalls like the Rjoandefossen Waterfall that spilled over the side of the mountain from almost 480 feet above. We passed many tunnels and the train had to stop at the section where there was a double track to wait for the oncoming train to pass. So, it gave me the opportunity to take pictures of the magnificent scenery.
I did not expect that we would be able to get so close to a waterfall. However, everybody had the opportunity to get off, take photos and enjoy the Klosfossen Waterfall. I was very lucky to be one of the first ones to get off the train and take photos of the waterfall right in front of me. When I turned my back to take a selfie, I realized that all the passengers were on the platform trying to take pictures. A few minutes later, I heard haunting music and saw a girl in a red dress climbing or I did not notice where she came from. I was actually annoyed and thought she was ruining the view, so I did not focus my camera on her. I did not realize until I got back on the train and my tour mate asked if I saw the dancing girl. Apparently, the dancing girl was playing a part of a mythical story enticing the people into the forest. Our guide did not tell us about the dancing girl but information about the Flam Railway was posted and announced at the beginning and during the trip.
- Length 20.2 Km
- Difference in altitude 864 m
- Steepest incline 55%
- Min. radius 130
- Track Gauge 1435mm
- Max speed 40km/h
- Tunnels 20
- Bridges 1
- Water tunnels 4
- Stops 7
NOTE: All photos and video by the author