YANYAN AND I BOARD FLÅMSBANA THE NEXT AFTERNOON to start our journey to Oslo. The Flåmsbana is a 20-kilometer long branch of the Bergen-Oslo railway line that connects Flåm and the station village of Myrdal. Myrdal is located in a mountain pass around 862 meters higher than Flåm, which means the line has a gradient of 1:18. This steep slope, coupled with the spectacular scenery the train passes through, has made Flåmsbana one of Norway’s most popular tourist attraction, though the train itself wasn’t made exclusively for tourists.
Construction of the line started in 1924 as part of the Bergen Line, a project to connect Bergen and Oslo via a railway. The Flåmsbana was meant to provide Sogn district access to Norway’s two largest cities via the Bergen Line.
Today, regular departures (10 from mid-June to late September; four the rest of the year) make their way up and down the mountainside, passing through tunnels and traversing a hairpin tunnel with a drop of nearly 300 meters. The journey, which is part of the classic Norway in a Nutshell tour, is a fascinating ride through a variety of mountain scenery.
The train chugs to a stop in Myrdal nearly an hour later. Yanyan and I alight the train and walk around the station to enjoy the view while waiting for the train to Oslo.