Scandinavian Trains & Journeys
Widely regarded as one of the greatest railway journeys in the world, this high-altitude trip through southern Norway links the old Hanseatic city of Bergen and the Norwegian capital, Oslo. The harsh climate experienced in this part of the world has produced a landscape that is breathtaking and wild, and the Bergen Railway enables us to soak up the spectacular views whilst relaxing in warm, comfortable carriages.
A branch line of the Bergen Railway, the scenic Flåm Railway takes passengers on a wonderful 12.5 mile (20km) journey up one of the steepest railway lines in the world. On its journey from Flåm, located at the innermost corner of the Aurlandsfjord, the train negotiates horseshoe curves, twists, turns and 20 tunnels - 18 of which were drilled by hand.
The scenery is truly spectacular, with rivers and waterfalls, snow-capped mountains and remote farms passing by the window as you travel towards Myrdal at 2,838 feet (865m).
The scenic Dovre Railway connects two of Norway's capital cities - the current capital, Oslo, and the historic Viking capital, Trondheim. Nicknamed 'the trail of the trolls', the railway runs on 553km of track, following a meandering route through Norway's inland countryside to provide a fascinating cross-section of scenery. Along its route the railway passes broad farmlands, expansive lakes, babbling rivers, rich deep forests, narrow valleys and high mountain passes, while providing a snapshot of the country's fascinating floral and unique animal and bird life.
The Nordland Railway runs from the historic Viking capital of Norway, Trondheim, to the beautiful city of Bodø in northern Norway. The railway is 729km in length, making it Norway's largest mainline railway. It is also one of only a few railway lines in the world which cross the Arctic Circle. The railway, which is also called 'the train of the midnight sun', takes passengers through the beautifully varied scenery of northern Norway and includes views of lakes, rivers and fjords, as well as the spectacular Svartisen Glacier.
The Ofoten Railway lies on a headland at the foot of the Fagernesfjellet, between the Beisfjord and Rornbaksfjord, and runs between the iron-ore mines at Kiruna in Swedish Lapland and the port town of Narvik on the Norwegian coast. The modern town of Narvik was developed as a port for the export of the iron-ore, and the Ofoten Railway, was built at the turn of the century as the link between the mines and the port.
Our spectacular journey on the 71-mile Raumabanen Railway begins in the village of Dombås. The train takes us along the valley carved by the River Rauma, offering magnificent views of the awe-inspiring crags, peaks and plateaus of the Alpine massif along the way.
Just beyond Verma, the train enters the semi-circular Stavem Tunnel, which reverses the train's direction, taking us back the way we just came, before crossing the famous Kylling Bridge.
Further along the line we pass Trollveggen (Troll Wall), the tallest vertical rock face in Europe, continuing through the wild, awe-inspiring landscape towards the town of Åndalsnes, on the shores of the beautiful Romsdal Fjord.
The Inlandsbanan connects Kristinehamn in the south of Sweden with Gällivare in the north, a journey of approximately 810 miles (1,300km). On our Arctic Circle Express and Grand Arctic Circle Explorer holidays we join the railway in Östersund, an inland city in the middle of the country, for the trip to Jokkmokk, situated above the Arctic Circle. This fantastic journey up the 'backbone of Sweden' takes us past tranquil lakes and tumbling streams bursting with life.
The X2000 is Sweden's premier high speed train, which uses advanced tilting technology to smooth out the curves of the Swedish tracks and reach speeds of up to 127 mph (204 km/h). Refurbished in 2007, all trains feature comfortable seats, radio and music channels and an on-board Bistro serving a wide selection of food and drink.