Monday, April 10, 2017

Arna, Myrdal, Flåm, Voss

I'm on my third day of travelling in Norway, and I'm waking up in second largest town - Bergen. Today I will visit one of most scenic railways in Europe - Flåm line.
 I'm walking the streets of Bergen from my hotel to the station

 Status of Henrik Ibsen, by Nils Aas

 Torgallmenningen - main square in Bergen
 Van Hool ExquiCity 24 bus used for BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) in Bergen. Same bus is used in Malmö among other places.
 Later on I will take the train to Myrdal, but first I'll visit another town.
 In the morning, the first train to Oslo is ready for departure.

 NSB BM69 EMU is used for local commuter services from Bergen.
 I'm travelling on a short commuter service to Arna, which is the first stop after Bergen. The line goes through Ulriken tunnel, 7.6km and completed in 1964.
 The railway to Arna represents an important part of the public transport in Bergen, since the rail line through the Ulriken mountains is considerably faster than driving around.
 This BM69 was manufactured in 1983 by Strømmens Værksted and NEBB (Norsk Elektrisk & Brown Boveri).
 Refurbishment was as late as in 2005
 CargoNet operated freight trains from Bergen to Alnabru in Oslo.
CE 119 (Bombardier Traxx)
 After a short journey in the tunnel I'm in Arna.
 Arna kirke
NSB operates from Bergen with two-hourly departures to Arna plus 14 daily departures to Voss, of which up to six continue to Myrdal.
 I'm changing the platforms

 After Arna station, there is the next tunnel - Arnanipa Tunnel, 2.1km long and also completed in 1964.

 Ulriken tunnel has a single track only and about 120 trains per day, thus it was decided to build a new tunnel making the line a double track one, it will be completed in 2022.
 Next is another BM69 to Myrdal.
 The weather is not as good as the previous day but Bergen is known for its high precipitation, with an average of 235 rainy days per year, so I'm not surprised.

 The line from Bergen to Voss was built already in 1883, while the rest of the line to Oslo was completed first in 1909.
 Vosso river
 From Voss to Myrdal, the line is climbing from 56m to 867m above sea level.


 Myrdal - last stop for this train.
 The station is serving train both on Bergen and Flåm lines.
 Flåm line is 20.2km long between Myrdal and Flåm.
 From Wikipedia: "The line's elevation difference is 863 meters, it has ten stations, twenty tunnels and one bridge. The maximum gradient is 5.5 percent. Because of its steep gradient and picturesque nature, the Flåm Line is now almost exclusively a tourist service and has become the third-most visited tourist attraction in Norway."
 From 2014, El 18 locomotives are used on this line, two locomotives in each end of the train.
 I'm not taking this one, the next train will depart in 1 hour.
 Myrdal is a very small village, with no access by cars. The station is from 1908.

 Inside there is a cafe

 Timetable from 1909. Oslo had another name back then - Kristiania. Back in 1909 it took almost 15h for the whole trip, today it takes around 7h.
 Funny posters of things forbidden in Norway.

 One of the house in Myrdal, representing activities for the winter and summer.
 Next train is arriving
 El 18 is used here together with Type 3 coaches.
 Type 3 coaches are from 60's and they can today only be found here in regular service.
 Seating is 2+3
 Many tourists are visiting the railway
 Time to go
 The line opened in 1940 and it is the steepest standard-gauge railway in Europe. Maximum permitted speed upwards is 40 km/h , while it is 30 km/h downhill, so the total journey of 20km takes about 1h.

 I can see the line from above

 Kjosfossen Station serves no other purpose than allowing tourists to look at the waterfall Kjosfossen.

 Built in 1969, refurbished in 2000.

 Zig zag shaped Rallarvegen

 The windows can be opened in the old coaches
 At Berekvam, there is a passing loop and the only place along the line where two trains can meet


 Flåm kirke

 Flåm school
 Final stop - Flåm
 The station is just next to the ferry terminal

 El 17 locomotives were used on the line between 1998 and 2014.
 Built by Thyssen-Henschel and Norsk Elektrisk & Brown Boveri (NEBB)

  The old station building was converted to a railway museum.
 It has a souvenir shop, where model trains are sold.
 Photos of trains operated on Flåm line.
 X10 from Stockholm was used here

 Rail vehicles at the museum
 It's an incredible difference in weather and temperature between Myrdal and Flåm. Just as I experienced one year ago travelling at Rauma line, it was snowing at Dombås, and it was t-shirt weather at Åndalsnes.

 Aurlandsfjorden - a branch of Sognefjorden.

 Flåm has everything tourists need, many shops and dining places.

 I'm back in the coach before other tourists arrive. For some reason, only two coaches were open, the rest were closed. When I asked why, I was told that only 90 tickets were sold. Still it would be good to have more seats available, since it's a scenic route, but it seems that not everybody understands that.
 New tourists are arriving

 Back to Myrdal

 A freight train for Bergen

 My next train is arriving

 I'm travelling back to Bergen

 The freight train lets the passenger train pass
 Approaching Voss, the snow is gone
 Voss is one of the major towns along the line

 Shortly after the passenger train is gone, the freight train is passing

 Vangsvatnet lake
 The weather is changing rapidly
 Regionstog to Oslo

 Birds are building a nest at the railway structure

 Fleischer's hotel - located next to the railway

 Built in 1889 in the popular Swiss style

 My last train is the long distance train from Oslo
 Bergen trolleybus system serves the city of Bergen. It is the only trolleybus system still in operation in Norway and one of two trolleybus systems in Scandinavia (the other one in Landskrona, Sweden). Operated with N6321 Electroliner, from Neoplan/MAN.
 Vågsallmenningen square
 Statue of Ludvig Holberg, Norwegian writer.

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