Riding the Bergensbanen (The Bergen Line) in Norway

Bergensbanen (Pluss Class)



4.5/5 Pros

  • Very comfortable seating
  • Free coffee
  • Amazing landscape Cons

  • Basic bathroom
  • Too far away from cafe car

The engine of the train states Se Norge. Ta Toget – or: “See Norway. From the train“. Apart from the Flamsbanen, the Bergensbanen, the connection between Bergen and Oslo, is not only one of the most popular touristic rail routes in Norway, but in all over Europe. It is regarded being one of the most beautiful rides on the continent. In May 2024, I had the opportunity to do the full ride from the city on Norway’s West coast to its capital. Here are my thoughts about the trip.

This posting comes with 102 major size pictures as part of the travel gallery.


Berngensbanen – Network and Tariff

The Bergensbanen is named F4 in the network of the Norwegian railway company Vy. The travel time is roughly seven hours, but depends on the exact connection. There are six connections daily. At the time of writing, for example, trains in Bergen leave at 6:21, 8:08, 11:49, 15:37, 16:46 and 23:00. The 11:49 is the most popular connection and may be sold out rather early. The 23:00 departure is a night train, which also runs with sleeping cars. Pricing is dynamic, but should be around 1,000 NOK (85 EUR) one-way if you book early. Non-flexible tickets may be cheaper. You can book tickets some two month in advance. We traveled in Pluss class, which is a some 400 NOK supplement.

The total distance traveled by Bergensbanen is some 505 kilometers. Apart from Vy, the tracks are also used by CargoNet. In general, you should expect some delays. Our train was in time, but the following train left Bergen already with a delay of 45 minutes. Most of the Western part of the railway is one track only, so that trains can pass in stations only. We traveled with the 11:49 service from Bergen on 20th May 2024. The schedule is given below. There are discussions to replace the service by high-speed rail in the future. However, there are no fixed plans for that project. Boarding and unboarding is limited at some stations around Bergen and Oslo.

Time Station
11:49 Bergen
11:48 Arna
12:32 Dale
13:03 Voss
13:52 Myrdal
14:07 Hallingskeid
14:20 Finse
14:39 Hagastol
14:50 Ustaoset
15:04 Geilo
15:25 Al
15:25 Gol
15:58 Nersbyen
16:25 Fla
17:18 Hönefoss
17:44 Vikersund
18:13 Hokksund
18:30 Drammen
18:43 Asker
18:50 Sandvika
19:05 Oslo Sentral


Bergensbanen – At the Stations

Bergen Station is a beautiful building. However, it just features basic facilities, like a deli, a kiosk and sushi bar. There are also (for charge) toilets and luggage lockers.

Oslo Sentralstasjon, Oslo’s central station, is the most important train station in Norway. It comes with all kinds of facilities. There are no rail lounges in Norway.


Bergensbanen – Rolling Stock

The train we rode was driven by an NSB EI 18. The standard gauge 5,400 kW electric engine is built by Adtranz and Swiss company SLM. The engine is based on the Swiss Railways Re 460 engine. It has a maximum speed of 200 km/h. However, this speed is only reached during the Bergensbanen ride in rather rare occasions. There also seem to be NSB Class 73 trains sometimes, which are based on the Swedish X2 train.

Our train service consisted of eight cars. the first car is the Pluss class car. It was located right at the end of the tracks at Bergen Station and close to the exit in Oslo. The third wagon is a family car with a small playground-alike section for kids. The cafe car has been located in wagon 6. Bergensbanen cars are explicitly branded for that occasion.


Bergensbanen – Cars and Services

The Pluss class car is divided into two section. The configuration is 2-2, i.e. two seats at both sides. The aisle is rather narrow due to that. There are a few groups of four seats facing each other. Most of the seats are simply two adjacent ones facing into the same direction. The seat pitch (distance between seats) is amazing. Even for the two seats adjacent, there is a fixed table. There is still plenty of space behind that table, so that you can easily store bags there without reducing your comfort.

Additionally, there is a luggage net at the back of the seat in front of you. A really nice feature is that you can pull a part of the table towards you, which makes it much easier to work. The gap in between is having a net-alike structure, which is very convenient for smaller items. The Bergen Line also features luggage racks at the ends of the car. However, the luggage bins above the seats also easily hold large suitcases or sports equipment like skis. Seat reservation is mandatory throughout the journey. A key feature of the Pluss class is the coffee and tea machine between the two sections, which is complementary. During our trip, also hot chocolate (based on hot water) was provided. This area also holds garbage bins and a bench, which was very popular to relax and take snaps.

Standard Class

Standard Class seating comes with a significantly shorter seat pitch. Nonetheless, the seating is comfortable. Tables are located in the rear of the the seat in front of you. The seats also come with a power supply and the same luggage options. There also seems to be a retractable table at the side of the car, which I did not check out.


Food & Sanitary Services

Toilets in Bergensbanen are basic and rather narrow, but they work out. The toilets are not serviced during the ride, so that some of them looked more messy the closer we got to Oslo than others. Especially the toilet flush looked a bit run down in some of the bathrooms.

The cafe compartment was located in car 6. It was a very popular meeting place, you had to expect some waiting time to be served, also when you grab food at the counter. Drinks, salads and similar items can be taken from a self-service section, while warm food is made on demand. The most popular food are hot dogs. With 90 minutes until arrival in Oslo, the sausages were sold at half price. Overall, pricing is rather high. We had a waffle, a pizza slice and a salad, which summed up to over 300 NOK. The food quality was fine, though. However, it felt very bothering that from the more luxurious Pluss class, you had to walk through almost the entire train to grab food. There is no at the seat service. This includes the upper travel class as well.


Views from Bergensbanen

The pictures below are in chronological order. You can also find them in major size in the corresponding gallery. The first part of the trip (if you come from Bergen) takes you through the 7,670 meter long Ulrikstunnel to Arna, from where you enjoy lovely views of the West Norwegian fjords until you reach Dale. The route heads on along the Vangsvatnet to Voss. While you are not too much above sea level in these first 90 kilometers of the trip, Bergensbanen is now heading up. 30 kilometers later, Mjolfjell is already 627 meters above sea level. This information is also given on the displays in the trains.

Above the Timberline

You more and more reach snowy regions, even in late May, when we did that trip. One of the most prominent stops of the trip is Myrdal some 18 kilometers later. The city is known as one terminus of the touristic Flamsbana. For a distance of some 100 kilometers, we crossed the timberline and went through the snowy Norwegian highlands (where people still did skiing). The ten kilometer long Finsetunnel reduces the former peak height of 1,301 moh to some 1,237 meters. The landscape in that area is spectacular and a real treat. After Ustaoset, where you are still close to 1,000 meters above sea level and some 300 kilometers away from the Norwegian capital, the train heads downhill. 80 kilometers away in Nesbyen, you are down to 168 meters above sea level.

From here, the train follows river and creeks towards Honefoss. I knew the area from a trip I had in the very early 2000’s and was delighted to be back. The nature is very enjoyable – but it just cannot beat the snowy mountain area. I would thus rather recommend to take the trip in the opposite direction, so that you have the “highlights” rather at the end of the trip. I definitely loved to pass Vikersund and watch the ski flying hill from the train. With arrival in Drammen latest, you feel being in Greater Oslo already.


Bergensbanen – The Gallery

Here are 102 major size pictures from the trip itself. They are located in the travel gallery:


Bergensbanen – My View

The trip with The Bergen Line is definitely memorable. It gives you so many different views of very different areas of Norway. However, the trip is lengthy. The Pluss class seats are very comfortable and I loved the free coffee in the compartment. However, I did not like the long distance from my seat to the cafe car. There could also be some more service. WiFi is available, but weak, I would rather use a mobile phone as a hotspot, where necessary.

We sat on the left hand side in the direction of travel (i.e. right hand side if you come from Oslo). Other sources lean towards rather sitting on the opposite side of the train for a better view. This is definitely true for the snowy section, but overall, I would not give a clear favorite in here.


“Rides on Rail” Postings

Here is everything about trains, trams and other rail vehicles:


Norway Travel Postings

Here are all my Travel postings related to Norway:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *