Sunday, April 9, 2017


Day 2 of my Norway trip starts in Hønefoss. Today I will continue the journey along Bergen railway with a stop at the highest located station in Norway - Finse.
 I'm on my way to the station.
 The station is located at the intersection between the Bergen Line, the Randsfjord Line and the Roa–Hønefoss Line. The station is designed as a V-shape keilbahnhof.
 The bridge over Begna river
 A freight coach for Arctic rail express
 Waiting hall
3 daily trains to Bergen/Oslo.
 Day trains have 10 coaches each

 Norwegian Heritage Trains (NMT) organisation has its base here
 Roa–Hønefoss Line is today only used by freight trains.
 This one is arriving from Kongsvinger, I know that since I saw these locomotives the day before
 It's Hector Rail 161.104 "Doyle", previously El 15 from NSB and Hector Rail 941.001 "Morricone", Vossloh G2000

 This electric locomotive is used until Hønefoss
 While this diesel locomotive is used on the non-electrified part of the Randsfjordbanen
 My first train is arriving from Oslo
 As I mentioned in my previous post, some trains were completely sold out days before the departure. This one was completely sold out several days before, but then some seats became available, so I reserved a seat through NSB call service (as the only way to do that with Interrail pass).
 Seat reservations are free for 1st class Interrail, and cost 50NOK for 2nd class. There are no 1st class on Norwegian trains, however there is a Komfort class that costs 90NOK extra (or free for Interrail 1st class).
 I'm continuing my journey toward Bergen
 The Bergen Line is a 371km long railway line between Bergen and Hønefoss. It is the highest mainline railway line in Northern Europe, crossing the Hardangervidda plateau at 1237m above sea level.
 The train was full as I said


 Bridge over Hallingdalselva

 We have now reached 436 m


 I have now reached my stop for this journey - Finse.
 The station opened 1909, and the train is the only way of transportation here.
 Shortly after the station, is the Finse tunnel 10,3km and it is the longest tunnel on the line.
Finse 1222 hotel is open for the winter season from January to the end of May, and the summer season is open from July to mid-October.

 Finse is located near the glacier Hardangerjøkulen
 There are both winter and summer activities here. In the summer it is possible to bike along the railway.
 During the winter, the nearby lake Finsevatnet is frozen and it is possible to do ski skiing.

 The station building
 While planning my trip I was worried that the weather conditions would not be good enough here for my 4h visit (that is the frequency of the trains here). I have been watching a webcam transmission from this camera for days before my visit.
At the end I felt very lucky with the weather. Here is a screen shot of me from the webcam.
 Entrance to the hotel
 The hotel has a nice decoration
 And even more important for my visit it had a place to eat and drink
Which is what i did here. Here is me eating "rallarsuppe".
 After spending some time inside, I decided to check out the surroundings before the arrival of the next train.
 The place is very popular among Norwegians.
 I have even climbed a hill to get a nice view of the station

 The village has some houses

 The corridor between the two hotel buildings is an old railway coach

 Waiting hall at the station
 Inside there are posters displaying the history of Finse
 The surroundings were a bit scary
 A train is arriving from Bergen
 The line is operated mainly with NSB El 18 locomotive and Type 7 coaches, at least during my visit.

 The stop here takes some time due to the amount of luggage the passenger bring to/from here

 After a long stop, the train is ready to leave

 I'm walking inside the coach that is used as a corridor

 Catenary inspection train LM2 built by Levahn has now arrived to Finse

 Shortly after it is joined by Levahn 128-b (30-36-5091)

 After clearing the main track, it is ready for next passenger train departure
 The next train from Oslo to Bergen is arriving 4h after my previous train. Since it is also nearly full, I decide to take the train which is about to arrive just 20min after this one. The next train is not from Oslo, but from Ål, and I'm sure it will be less crowded.

 Since 2015, the NSB El 18 locomotives have got "Se Norge. Ta toget" livery ("See Norway, take the train"), which is a communication concept from NSB and the Norwegian Tourist Association.
 The train is disappearing in a snow protection structure and later the tunnel.

 Finally, my train is arriving
 This service is from Ål to Bergen, and it is only operated on Sundays.
 While the Bergen-Oslo trains had Type 7 coaches built 1982-1988, this train has Type 5 coaches built between 1977-1981, but looks very fresh after refurbishment made 2010.
 Just as I though this train is almost empty, so I can enjoy all views
 The rest of the Bergen line is now descending all the way to Bergen.
 Tens of kilometers of snow sheds were built here on the most vulnerable parts.
 The seats can be turned in both direction very easily
 The snow is slowly disappearing
 The line has 182 tunnels, with total length of ca. 73km

 Time to visit the dining coach. I'm impressed by the menu choice, it is possible to find many dishes including hot dogs.

 Voss and NSB Bm 69
 Vosso river
The last 60km before Bergen, the railway is located along Sørfjorden which is one of the innermost branches of the main Hardangerfjorden
 E16 road is next to the railway



 Osterøy Bridge is the third largest suspension bridge in Norway, completed 1997
 Takvam Chapel

 Arriving to Bergen
 NSB El 14 from 1968, once used for passenger trains, today is hauling CargoNet freight trains
 NSB Di 8.705 is hauling the 20min earlier arrived passenger train to Bergen

 The locomotive for the previous train

 My train arrived from Ål
 Beautiful main hall of Bergen station

 Bergen Light Rail opened in 2010 and operated with 12 Variotrams from Stadler Rail

 After seeing so much snow in Finse, it is nice to arrive to a more spring condition with blooming trees.
Blooming flowers in Byparken, with the station building in the background

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