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Flam Railway--the long or short of it?


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To get to Voss you will take the Flam railway to Myrdal then transfer to another train to Myrdal (unless they use a bus!). If you just want to do the 'scenic' Flam railway, do the trip to Vatnahalsen. This is the stop before Myrdal (where there is nothing to see...its just a station) and there is a hotel and walks through the woods to do. I haven't done the Voss trip, so can't comment, but the Vatnahalsen trip will show you most of the Flam railway.

 

Simon

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I asked the same question before our cruise last spring. Someone replied that Norway is so beautiful, if you can afford it, see as much as you can. I opted for the longer shore excursion (we were on Celebrity--but the excursions sound similar.) I do not regret paying the extra money. I think we got a much better overview of Norway by taking the longer trip. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

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Hiya

 

We went on fjords cruise 2 weeks ago - it was amazing.

 

We did the longer Flam tour only we went to Voss by coach, stopped at some beautiful photo stops, lunch in Voss (very nice), then a train to Myrdal then the Flam railway! A round trip of about 6 hours ... Worth every penny!

 

K x

Edited by kaznaid
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Hiya. We went on fjords cruise 2 weeks ago - it was amazing. We did the longer Flam tour only we went to Voss by coach, stopped at some beautiful photo stops, lunch in Voss (very nice), then a train to Myrdal then the Flam railway! A round trip of about 6 hours ... Worth every penny! K x

 

Glad, Karen, that things work well for you in your visit to wonderful Flam. We only had a half-day in this port as we went on in the afternoon to nearby Gudvangen and traveling more up and around the narrow Naeroyfjord. While there, we got the views from the Stalheim Hotel and the spectacular Tvinde Waterfall. For others considering their options here, below is more info, background, visuals. Added info and pictures for here and other great Norway coast options, can be checked out on my full live/blog noted below.

 

Flam, with a population of about 500, is nestled in a tributary of the world's longest and deepest fjord. It is 128 miles long and has a maximum depth of 4,291 feet. On the question of how deep are these fjords, local say: “A mermaid could swim all the way to China.” The chief attraction here is the 73-year-old Flam Railway. It includes twenty tunnels and eight stops as it goes up the mountain. This rail lines rises from Flam’s gingerbread rail station going up 2,835 feet to Myrdal and this "Roof of Norway" rail station. In 2010, this railway was chosen as one of the top ten most beautiful train journeys in Europe by National Geographic Traveler Magazine. In 2012, there was a new passenger record of 635,368 riders carried. That is a big jump up in ridership from 475K in 2005 and 380K in 1994.

Railroad website with more history and technical details for its construction, operations: http://www.flaamsbana.no/eng.

 

THANKS! Enjoy! Terry in Ohio

 

For details and visuals, etc., from our July 1-16, 2010, Norway Coast/Fjords/Arctic Circle cruise experience from Copenhagen on the Silver Cloud, check out this posting. This posting is now at 118,614 views.

http://www.boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1227923

 

 

Arriving at Flam, our Captain is right there directing this docking process. You can see here some of the fjord mountains, waterfalls in the background. This town is fairly small with the rail trip being the main attraction and activity here.:

 

FjordsDockedFlam.jpg

 

 

Here are a few highlights from the Flam train ride, including where you stop in a stone tunnel to get out and then see this dramatic 305-foot-high Kjosfossen Waterfall half-way on this 12.4 mile trip. We then exit the train at the Vatnahalsen Hotel, to see the grounds, nearby mountains, etc. Lots of great views on this routing, up and down. :

 

FjordTrainWaterfall.jpg

 

 

FjordsTrainViews2.jpg

 

 

Here is another view seen while doing the Flam train. Plus two more examples of the various sights, buildings, etc., while being in these fjords. This includes a wooden church near Gudvangen with their cemetery along the edge of the fjord. Third is an example of the many small settlements and operations along the edges of the fjords that you will see when sailing in these areas.:

 

FlamTrainWaterStructuresView_zps73726477.jpg

 

 

FjordWoodenChurchAlongWater_zps927780d8.jpg

 

 

FjordSmallPortMtnsEtc_zps0ba76866.jpg

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We thought the Flam railway was disappointing. The train only stopped once for photos (at the waterfall). If you are not at a window seat, its hard to see and almost impossible to take pictures while the train is moving past the beautiful views. If you do go, buy tickets on your own...much cheaper than Princess. The best Princess excursion we took was the hike to two glaciers in Olden..it was spectacular.

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If you do go, buy tickets on your own...much cheaper than Princess. .

Just be aware, that trains might be sold out - be early at the train station to buy tickets - I do not recommend to buy in advance at the web - tickets must be validated on busy days.

watch the short video from my trip in June this year:

 

flamtrain.jpg

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Just be aware, that trains might be sold out - be early at the train station to buy tickets - I do not recommend to buy in advance at the web - tickets must be validated on busy days.

watch the short video from my trip in June this year:

 

flamtrain.jpg

 

If you have a smart phone and WiFi or data access, you can also buy the ticket through the NSB app. In that case you should be able to just go straight to the train. :)

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/nsb/id439655098?mt=8

 

If you're worried about missing the port for some reason, you could probably wait and buy it a few days ahead or even that morning as you disembark.

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If you have a smart phone and WiFi or data access, you can also buy the ticket through the NSB app. In that case you should be able to just go straight to the train. :)

When I did visit Flam in June, I did have a valid ticket, however i were denied access to the train and asked to get the ticket validated at the ticket office because the train was sold out.

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When I did visit Flam in June, I did have a valid ticket, however i were denied access to the train and asked to get the ticket validated at the ticket office because the train was sold out.

So what did validating the ticket entail? A refund?

 

It seems like if you buy a train fare for a specific time, you should be allowed to take the train at that time, no? Now I'm wondering how the NSB handles residents of Flåm who legitimately want to take the train on mornings when ships are in port.

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You cannot buy a ticket for a specific departure except at the ticket counter in Flåm - you can only buy open ticket at NSB, scandinavian Rail or other providers - not for a specific departure - this is the conditions when buying an open ticket:

"Please note that this is an open ticket and does not include seat reservations for a specific train or time."

"This open ticket will allow you to board any train with available seating on the Flåm-Myrdal route."

If no available seats at a sold out train you will not be able to enter the train.

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You cannot buy a ticket for a specific departure except at the ticket counter in Flåm - you can only buy open ticket at NSB, scandinavian Rail or other providers - not for a specific departure - this is the conditions when buying an open ticket:

"Please note that this is an open ticket and does not include seat reservations for a specific train or time."

"This open ticket will allow you to board any train with available seating on the Flåm-Myrdal route."

If no available seats at a sold out train you will not be able to enter the train.

The app asks you to specify a time, when you purchase the ticket. I travel to work with an open ticket, but in that case it's only valid for 1½ hours after purchase. I guess they would have to refund it if they refuse boarding in the allotted time period, because you couldn't simply use it later.

 

Of course I've also been on trains with no available seats and just stood for the trip. It happens once in a while, and the conductors have never said anything.

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The company Flåm Utvikling has assumed responsibility for ticketing, but NSB (and others) is today selling tickets - If nothing has changes by June this year a ticket bought through NSB or any other provider than Flåm Utvikling is an open ticket. You might be asked for a specific departure - but you end up with an open ticket valid for two months. If the trains are fully booked you will not be able to get onboard with an open ticket! It must be validated by Flåm Utvikling ticket office!

Flåm Utvikling is obviously having other rules than NSB!

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  • 1 month later...

Great information, thanks!

If we arrive 8am, should we be able to make a 9:45 train to Myrdal?

If we leave Myrdal by 3:59, should we be able to return to the ship by 4:00pm or so (6pm departure).

My plan would be to purchase ticket on Bergen RR as well, and discover which stops (towards Bergen or towards Oslo) would allow for a bite to eat and some scenery as well (tours go to Voss or you get off before Myrdal at Vatnahalson for a walk). The obvious first question is who to email to determine next 3 July's schedules to see the wait time in each direction to the next train and then train time to both Voss and say Finse in the other direction (look at glacier?). Also, I'm pretty much insecure and would want to have timing that would not leave us really needing the train to Bergen to catch up!

All advice much appreciated.

Happy Thanksgiving for those in the US or from the US.

DJ:)

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(AM arrival will allow for 9:45 train - only 5 minutes from pier to train if docked - if tendered it might be different!

 

If we leave Myrdal by 3:59, should we be able to return to the ship by 4:00pm or so (6pm departure).

 

This is not fully understood:"If we leave Myrdal by 3:59, should we be able to return to the ship by 4:00pm or so (6pm departure)."

But again - only short time is need to get back to ship.

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No problem getting the 0945. We docked about 8am and I went and got our group ticket about 9am. We all met outside the station at 0920 and could board immediately...not a problem.

 

There were some tickets available for the return trip that arrived back in Flam at 1655, but many on our cruise didn't get them as the ship departure was 1700...too tight. However, Celebrity ran an excursion using this train(!), so loads of others could have as well if they'd known! So much for 'all aboard at 1700'!!

 

Simon

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Flam is Thursday 3 July: Planned arrival (only ship; docked) at 0800: Consensus that we can do the 9:45am departure.

 

Ship departs 6pm (should be onboard 5pm), so a return from Myrdal as late as 3:59 (2:43 may be booked?) would work? Basically, the Flam/Myrdal run equals how many minutes?

 

The second question is how often does a train pass Myrdal going to Bergen and going the other direction to Oslo? I can see that a tour goes to Voss (claims 7 hours, i.e. all of our basic time like 10am to 5pm) for $192/each (but its once in a lifetime was never a selling point for me!) and also offers a 3 1/2 hour tour to Varnahalsen Lodge (the stop before Myrdal) for $114! So, the basic questions are (a) what other stops on the Bergen/Oslo line make sense and would be enjoyable other than Voss -- does Finse work, going towards Oslo and is there a place for a sandwich and a walk around? (b) can one purchase a time-specific ticket if going from Flam to Voss or Flam to Finse and then have a reservation with assured space on return? and obviously © who do I email for information on viability of a schedule. The tourist information center at Flam is only open in summer (so no input their until May!). As our next port 0800 Bergen the next day, the ultimate screw-up would be back on the train to Bergen?

DJ:)

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  • 4 weeks later...

The 9:45 from Flåm will arrive into Myrdal 10.43

Then there is a train from Myrdal 11:11 towards Voss/Bergen (arrival Voss

12:05) - towards Oslo only few trains. Please note that this is current time - June time table not available yet.

You can find train times at https://www.nsb.no/timetables/

 

Myrdal 15:59 will arrive into Flåm at 16.55 - might be a bit tight, but doable.

The trains is not 'sold out' from Myrdal to Flåm - only from Flåm, so not a problem getting seats at 14:43 from Myrdal to Flåm.

 

You might be able to go to Voss - return trains are 13:14 or 14:40 - arrival Myrdal 13:55 / 15:30. - I like your contingency plan.

 

An alternative is the train and being back 11.55 - just in time for a fjord cruise

Find more information on http://www.visitflam.com/

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  • 4 months later...

we want to do the flam train excursion and either hike or bike back it seems the hiking option doesnt include train all the way to myrdal but only to vatnahalsen where as the biking goes all the way to myrdal ,and advice tips etc .ps on a fjords cruise has anyone any thoughts on what would be the best boat trip excursion to take ?:)

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we want to do the flam train excursion and either hike or bike back it seems the hiking option doesnt include train all the way to myrdal but only to vatnahalsen where as the biking goes all the way to myrdal ,and advice tips etc .ps on a fjords cruise has anyone any thoughts on what would be the best boat trip excursion to take ?:)

 

We are on the 26 June Constellation RT Amsterdam, including 8 ports in Norway (this is the last of these cruises -- next year only shorter cruises from England).

 

Flam train accessed through "Visitflam" -- however, each email led to a different, always changing answer. We discovered in process that there was a Norway in a Nutshell option RT Flam that started with a cruise from Flam to Gudvagen, bus to Voss (including views) and train Voss to Myrdal and Myrdal to Voss. Those of us who have done the train before have opted for "Stalheim View and World Heritage Cruise" that is either a cruise to or from Gudvagen and a bus through Stalheim either to or from Gudvagen, for a 4-hour experience.

 

Really don't know if I answered any of your questions. For folks who are happy enough with a northern travel only to Molde/Kristiansund, this is still a great cruise (the end of this year's month in Europe). We have private Rodne Fjord cruise at Stavanger, Lake Loen cruise at Olden, a leased coach at Molde to Kverness Stave Church, Atlantic Highway, and lunch at Bud before Mt. Varden, at Alesund we have a leased coach to Trollstigen/Trollveggen, a bus to Mt. Dalsnibba at Geiranger, Flam, and visits to Bergen and Oslo!

DJ:)

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we are on celebrity infinity dep harwich uk july 4th 2014. oslo we have been before and done hoho bus,so this time we are doing the guided tour of the opera house (a passion of ours) flam we cant decide wether to train plus hike back or train plus cycle back ? alesund we hope to get to the viewing point behind and above the town ,so we are looking for a boat trip to do and maybe a hiking trip to do also in gerainger,bergen,olden or possibly stavanger although weve heard that a mooch (thats stroll)round town is nice there ,any advice to the above especially the flam decision would be helpful .:)

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