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Flåmsbana Norway Regional traintrotting

Flåmsbana

Just returning from a traintrip I wanted to do in a long time: the Flåmsbana or Flåm line in southwestern Norway. Leading from the (once) small dwelling Flåm on Aurlandsfjord to Myrdal station, a junction to the also well known Bergen line.

As Flåmsbana is assumed to be Norway’s most spectacular train trip I was glad to have booked a ticket months in advance. Why? Because when arriving there by ferry on last week’s thursday, July 28, I was rather shocked to see a huge cruise ship in the harbour and a second close by. And hundreds of people ashore. But then: what should I have expected from a place like this?

Our ferry from Bergen in front of the 6300 passenger cruise ship. A shock at first.

Entering the museum – crowded, free of charge, but well worth a visit – I was rewarded with a nice exhibition on the construction of this line during the years of 1924-1940, equipment, a historical locotmotive, and a couple of draisines. Outside and just between the museum and the tracks there is another historical train to be seen:

Historical train next to the tracks and the museum.

But now it was time to queue up to what seemed an endless line of passengers, no seat reservations possible for individuals. I was lucky to get one of the seats on the left side, one with a window that could be opened, too!

Leaving Flåm about half an hour late, we first followed the valley in slopes and then started our ascend having wonderful impressions:

View from the Flåmsbana backwards to Flåm (just out of sight).

In Berekvam station, about halfway up (343m above mean sea level AMSL), and the only place with a second track, we have to wait for the oncoming train from Myrdal station to pass by:

Trains crossing in Berekvam station, 343m AMSL

After moving on, we soon reached Kjosfossen waterfall where the train stops and we are asked to leave the train and look and listen to a dancing Huldra, a seductive forest creature in scandinavian folklore, here to be seen on the right in a red dress:

Kjosfossen, 669m AMSL, with dancing Huldra

But now we’re heading for the most spectacular curves and tunnels of the whole line, offering some more great views before stopping by shortly in Vatnahalsen station and reaching our final destination Myrdal station:

Myrdal station, 866m AMSL – junction to Bergen line.

All in all a trip I can only recommend! But remember to book your tickets well in advance, as trains are booked out quickly in high season.

Categories
Der Passagier Porto Portugal Regional traintrotting

Der Passagier – Sommerfrische

In it’s second year, the magazine has released it’s fourth issue focusing on travelling by train in Summer on Thursday, June 30, 2022.
You will find two contributions by me, namely:

  • Porto São Bento – Portrait of a train station
  • A return to Porto – Taking the train along the Rio Douro

The magazine can be ordered here.

Categories
Porto Portugal Regional traintrotting

Following the Douro river

Lucky enough, I was taking a couple of different trains trotting along the Douro river from Porto to Pocinho – today’s last station to be reached by train on the so-called Linha do Douro.

In Régua and Pocinho you’ll be finding some old locomotives dating back to the twenties. This part also offers the most spectacular sights and during the summer season you can take the historical train CP 0186 to Tua and back:

There is an article about this trip in the fourth edition of Der Passagier, that was available as of June 30, 2022 at german, swiss and austrian train stations as well as selected super markets.

You can follow this and other trips on FindPenguins.

Categories
DB Regional traintrotting

9-Euro-Ticket Germany

The Deutsche Bahn also offers an online or printed Version of the 9 €-Ticket, valid for a month. More details see DB website.

Categories
DB Regional traintrotting

Germany’s next Top-Ticket!

And I just got it – the new 9-Euro-Ticket.

What a great Idea !

Available online as of now and valid from June 1 to August 30, 2022, the 9 €-ticket allows you to take any local or regional train like RB or RE across Germany as well as most public transport in cities such as U-Bahn, S-Bahn, bus and tram. Of course this doesn’t include IR, IC, EC, ICE or other high speed trains etc.

Conditions are frequently updated on the DB website. It can be bought online on VGN– and DB websites. The 9 €-ticket ticket is valid one calendar month – so just get three and enjoy the summer!