Flam Railway - An Incredible Journey | Designer Travel

In 1923 work began on the construction of the famous Flam Railway in Norway. It was created to connect the mountainous villages with the beautiful Aurlandsfjord. It took over 20 years to complete and is a phenomenal work of engineering and sheer hard graft. In order to reach Myrdal, which is 865 meters above sea level, 20 tunnels had to be created through the mountains, and only two of those were excavated by machine – the other 18 were dug out by hand. There was also the issue of how to cross the river and the valleys below…they achieved this by bizarrely leading the river through tunnels under the railway!…

I might not understand much about its construction but I can testify to the fact that this a pretty spectacular train journey, through the most beautiful Norwegian landscape, often quite dramatic, like the stunning waterfalls, and always awesome. The 20km ride, takes about an hour, and is one of the steepest railways in the world on normal gauge tracks. We stopped en route for photographs and out of nowhere came the sound of singing, and we saw that it came from a nymph-like figure high in the hill above us!…it was a bit like a fairy tale…we did giggle a bit at first, but it was lovely all the same! (I have heard that she has recently been joined by dancers….?)

Over the years the Flam Railway trains have changed quite a lot. Once steam, they changed to electric in 1944. The carriages too have undergone a transformation, all are painted green, and are fitted with a multi lingual guide and loadspeaker system. to tell you what are seeing! Sometimes progress can diminish atmosphere, but in this case nothing can really damage this lovely journey. However location is everything – try to get a window seat if you can!

The Flam Railway attracts hundreds of visitors from all over the world, swelled even more by the hoards of cruise passengers which descend on the area with great regularity. They have a new fleet of 5 engines with carriages to give the visitor maximum opportunity to get on board.It is actually possible to book tickets up to three months in advance, such is the demand! It is pricey – an adult return ticket is 400 NOK, about £40.00, a single only £10.00 less. I hope if you choose to try it, you will find it worth it, as we did. It has been a lovely memory to reflect on.

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