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What train passengers need to know about closures to Norway’s Bergen Line

A decent chunk of the Bergen Line will be closed or partially closed for three weeks while track works take place. Here’s how it could affect your journey.

Pictured is Bergen train station.
A section of the Bergen Line will be closed while works take place. Pictured is Bergen train station. Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

From Wednesday morning, the section of the Bergen line between the city the railway is named after and Voss will be closed.

This covers Bergen, Arna, Vaksdall, Dale and Voss. All rail traffic on the Bergen Line to these stops will be halted during this period. These works will last until next Tuesday.

Once the first set of works is completed, there will be no trains between Bergen and Vaksdall. Traffic after Vaksdall will run as usual.
While the works take place, train operator Vy will run a rail replacement service between Bergen and Voss.

The Bergen Line is popular with both tourists, with it being described as one of the most picturesque rail journeys in the world, and those travelling between Oslo and Bergen who do not wish to fly.

READ ALSO: Five stunning train trips to take in Norway

Vy hasn’t said how the works would affect journey times. However, it is likely that they will increase slightly to allow people to transfer to the rail replacement service and to account for any traffic the bus service runs into on its route.

Other lines operating out of Bergen and the other stops where works are taking place are unlikely to be affected. 

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TRAVEL NEWS

Tips for short-haul foreign travel from Norway this Christmas

For the past two Christmases, strict Covid rules prevented many people from travelling. This year that isn't an issue, but there are a few things you should know about your journey this year.

Tips for short-haul foreign travel from Norway this Christmas

Whether you’re a foreigner in Norway planning a trip to see friends or relatives over the festive season or you’re planning a Christmas or New Year trip to Norway, there are several things worth keeping in mind when planning travel.

Strikes

If you’re taking a trip to the UK, be aware that rail workers are currently engaged in a protracted battle to secure pay increases that will help them cope with the soaring cost of living and have not ruled out further strikes over the festive season.

Several strike dates have been announced for December 2022 and January 2023. These may complicate your travel plans significantly after arriving in the UK. You can check the latest strike dates here. In addition, public transport workers in London will also strike throughout December.  

If you’re going to Italy, there are widespread air and rail strikes in November that could continue into December, while Germany has also seen airline strikes. Low-cost airlines in Spain are also staging strike action that is currently scheduled to last until after Christmas.

You can find the latest in Italy here, Spain here and Germany here.

Meanwhile, back in Scandinavia, SAS cabin crew could strike over wages and working hours if an agreement isn’t reached during meditation. If they strike, this could lead to a reduced schedule to and from Norway.  

Flying

Many airlines are struggling to bring back staffing to pre-pandemic levels, making it difficult to increase the number of flights to meet demand. The current oil prices have also significantly increased airlines’ fuel costs.

Long-haul flight prices have increased significantly, while short-haul prices have also risen. 

One tip would be to travel from different airports to get to your destination. 

For example, flights from Oslo Torp (Sandjefjord) are typically cheaper than flights from Oslo Gardermoen. The downside is that you will need to travel to the other airport, meaning the journey may take longer. 

Earlier this summer, most airports across Europe, Norway (pretty much) excluded, suffered staffing issues, which led to travel disruption and long delays. 

Trains

While Norway is quite well connected to neighbours Sweden, with regular connections between the two countries and overnight options, the country’s rail links to other nations leave much to be desired. 

Essentially, if you plan to take a train to your destination, you will need to first get to Sweden or Denmark and use those countries as hubs to reach the rest of Europe. 

With train tickets across Norway and other countries, for that matter, you’ll need to book relatively soon-ish or face being disappointed. 

The Seat 61 website provides tips on how to travel comfortably and affordably by train. It includes an introduction to train travel in Europe and an extensive search feature to find trains by starting location.

Here you can find a link for journey plans from Oslo to London and other European cities. However, be aware that Eurostar is running around one-third fewer services to avoid massive queues due to the post-Brexit passport check rules, and passengers are now advised to allow 90 minutes for pre-boarding checks. Financial troubles at the company have also seen ticket prices rise.

The Trainline is an international platform focused on train travel. The company is based in the UK but has extensive coverage of train travel in 45 countries across Europe.

The Trainline aims to find the cheapest tickets for a selected route. Most of the time, this means booking in advance.

Ferry

Taking a ferry is another option if you wish to avoid airport queues and all the hassle of checking in bags. The Oslo-Kiel line will get you to northern Germany. From there, you can head to the rest of Europe. Journeys on this route regularly sell out, though. 

For a family with a car, two adults and two children, tickets cost around 275 pounds per person for a return journey

Another option is the Kristiansand Eemshaven ferry, which travels from the south of Norway to outside Groningen in the Netherlands three times a week. Tickets, excluding the cost of a cabin, begin from 310 euros for a family of four and a car- 

Then there are various links to Denmark, where one can take the ferry to the top of the country or straight to Copenhagen and drive across the continent from there. Ferries from Norway include several routes from Larvik, Kristiansand, Langesund, Stavanger, and Bergen to Hirtshals. For a full overview of ferries from Norway, click here.  

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