The Flåm Railway (Flåmsbana) winds its way from Myrdal to Flåm, 2837 feet below, nestled in the innermost corner of the Aurlandfjord.
Each year, this exciting stretch of railway attracts people from all corners of the world, making the Flåm Railway one of Norway's major and most spectacular tourist attractions.
The world's best train ride
In their March 2014 issue, Lonely Planet Traveller included the Flåm Railway in a list of "The World's most incredible train journeys 2014" and named it "The world's best train ride". Here is some of what they said:
Seen on the map, the Flåmsbana might look like a railway of modest ambitions (…) Seen in real life, its epic stature becomes apparent: a little line that couragly scrambles through a landscape of tumbling waterfalls and sheer mountains, descending from the treeless expanses of the Hardangervidda to the mouth of one of Norway’s most spectacular inlets, the Aurlandsfjord.
The train journey provides some of Norway's wildest and most magnificent scenery. On the 12-mile 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 that cling dizzily to sheer slopes.
The Flåm Railway is one of the world's steepest railway lines on normal gauge. The gradient is 55/1000 on almost 80% of the line. 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 Norway's longest fjord, the Sognefjord.
Time of travel
A trip on the Flåm Railway is just as stunning in winter as in summer. Indeed you should try both if you get the chance, as the landscape changes so dramatically with each season it makes for a radically different experience.
If you are travelling in winter remember that days are short this time of year, so make sure your trip is scheduled during daylight hours (typically 9 am to 4 pm). Earlier or later than that and part of your journey will be in the dark, which means you may miss out on the magnificent scenery along the way.
The trip between Myrdal and Flåm takes about one hour.
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