The Rauma Railway takes you on a scenic ride through dramatic mountains

·4-min read
Photo credit: Leif Olestad
Photo credit: Leif Olestad

The Rauma Railway was not only named Europe's most beautiful train journey by Lonely Planet, but it's one of the most dramatic. It’s no surprise that the Norwegian rail line has caught the attention of travel experts, given that it takes you through the country’s striking landscapes.

RIDE THE RAUMA RAILWAY WITH GH

While many holidaymakers like to explore Norway in the winter when the conditions are ideal for viewing the Northern Lights, or by cruising the entrancing Norwegian fjords, exploring the European beauty spot by rail is an epic way to witness its wonders and the Rauma Line is worth knowing about.

Covid-19: Norway is on the UK's 'amber list' of countries and its borders are currently closed to tourists. Read the latest advice before travelling.

Here, we look at why this spectacular train is one to add to your future travel plans and how you can experience it in the company of fellow Good Housekeeping readers this year and in 2022.

Where does the Rauma Railway start and end?

The Rauma, or Raumabanen, runs for 114km between Dombas, a leafy Norwegian town known among adventurers and winter sports-lovers, and Andalsnes, the famous mountaineering capital which is at the mouth of the River Rauma.

Photo credit: Visit Northwest / Fjord Norway
Photo credit: Visit Northwest / Fjord Norway

In Andalsnes, you can hike up to the awesome Rampestreken viewing platform, which juts out at 550 metres above sea level. Or you could explore the town, tasting locally caught salmon and browsing the cute traditional handicraft shops.

What will I see from the Rauma Railway?

Travelling through the mountains of central Norway, you’ll admire fjords, valleys, lakes, mountains and forests from your carriage. All in all, the ride takes just one hour and 40 minutes, but during this time the train passes over 32 bridges and glides through six different tunnels.

Notable sights include the famous Trollveggen (Troll wall), Europe's highest vertical mountain wall which is well known among climbers - and named after its supposed mystical inhabitants. There’s also the Kylling Bridge, which took a whole 10 years to create entirely from granite.

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As the railway winds its way beside the emerald-green Rauma River, you’ll be able to witness the awe-inspiring scenery from the large windows of your carriage.

During some parts of your journey, the water laps gently at small white-sand beaches, and during others, you might see it cascading down at dramatic speeds. And don’t forget to look out for salmon jumping!

What services can I expect on board?

You'll enjou guided commentary in English, Norwegian and German and a brochure where you can learn more about some of the highlights of your journey. With your camera in hand, you’ll mostly want to sit back and admire the magnificent views.

When is the best time to travel on the Rauma Railway?

In the summer months, the train runs a shorter route from Andalsnes to Bjorli, slowing down for passengers to take pictures of the scenic highlights and really make the most of this fairytale landscape full of contrasts.

During the winter, Andalsnes turns into a skier's paradise and the mountains are covered in glistening white snow. The scenery looks unbelievably special beneath the bright powder and despite the large windows, you’ll remain toasty on the heated train thanks to radiators by your feet.

Photo credit: Jacob Gosch / EyeEm - Getty Images
Photo credit: Jacob Gosch / EyeEm - Getty Images

You can choose to alight completely or stop off for coffee halfway through the journey at Bjorli, a popular resort which transforms into a winter wonderland, before returning for the last leg.

You might recognise the town for its appearance in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. In fact, the scene here is the only one from the film that was shot outside of the UK.

Where do I sign up?

You can experience the Rauma Railway and Arctic Norway on a 22-day rail-only adventure with Good Housekeeping in summer 2021 and in 2022, visiting various Scandinavian hotspots, such as Copenhagen, Stockholm, Oslo and the Lofoten Islands, as well as sleeping in both Sweden's the Icehotel and Treehotel.

Photo credit: primeimages - Getty Images
Photo credit: primeimages - Getty Images

Optional boat trips are also available on the tour. You can explore the Lofoten Islands, where the BBC drama Twin was set, plus the famous Trollfjord and Saltstraumen.

Whenever you choose to travel, the world-renowned Rauma and Dovre Lines and the epic Nordland and Arctic Circle trains offer a holiday you'll never forget.

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Alternatively, you can see Norway by rail and fjord during a 13-day adventure this August or next April.

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