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The Rauma train: Norway's jewel

Thursday 29 June 2023 | Norway by train | Exceptional train

This little train runs on one of the most beautiful rail routes in the world. Discover the Rauma train, a jewel in the land of the fjords.

It's a discreet train, with its departure station nestling in the hollow of a fjord. The Rauma train is not a luxury train, nor a panoramic train (despite its large windows), nor even a private train. It is a regular Norwegian Railways train, running between Åndalsnes on the Atlantic coast and Dombås inland (see our "Norwegian Fjords" tour).

The Fjords of Norway: the Rauma train route

Rauma train Visit Norway

The Rauma train, a jewel in the land of fjords

The Rauma train is not a tourist train

The Rauma train is a small, modern train with just two carriages and an engine. The interior is comfortable, but nothing special: nothing to do with the aesthetics of its "colleague" the Flåm, another of Norway's famous trains that you can take on our "Wonder of Norway" tour. There are no retro wooden seats here, and no screens to give tourists information. Nor does the train make the round trip to take you back to the starting point of the excursion... For the good reason that the Rauma train is not a tourist train. You won't find many foreigners on board. On the contrary, you'll find Norwegians taking the train to Lillehammer or Oslo. And enjoy the dazzling scenery along the way.

Wonders of Norway: discover the Flåm train!

Rauma Visit Norway

The Rauma RiverThe Rauma River © VisitNorway

In Åndalsnes: the fjord train

Åndalsnes, where the Rauma line begins, is a small town of 2,500 inhabitants on the edge of the Romsdals fjord, surrounded by magnificent mountains. You can get there by bus from Molde and spend a day or two enjoying the incredible beauty of the scenery: you're in one of the most beautiful parts of Norway, where the fjords are the deepest, in the heart of the highest mountains.

Andalsnes cable car near the station Discovery Trains

Cable car in Åndalsnes © Discovery Trains 

Åndalsnes is a popular starting point for a number of beautiful hikes, including the one to Rampestreken Belvedere, famous for its impressive footbridge at 550m. Thanks to the cable car, you can also easily reach the Romsdalgondolen and enjoy views of the fjord and surrounding peaks: at 1679 m, the mountains rise up as far as the eye can see and the panorama is breathtaking. It's not for nothing that Åndalsnes is known as the "capital of mountaineering". (The Norwegian Mountaineering Centre and the highest indoor climbing site in the world can be found at the foot of the station).

Rauma 10 VisitNorway

Rampestreken belvedere © VisitNorway

The train along the River Rauma

From the heights of Åndalsnes, you can also enjoy a magnificent view of the River Rauma. Åndalsnes is located right at the mouth of this wide river, which flows through the Romsdal valley, one of the most beautiful in the country. The Rauma train will follow its emerald waters for a good part of its journey. This view of the river below the train line, which seems to follow you like a travelling companion, is not the only element that embellishes your tour: the Rauma line is one of the wildest tracks in Norway.

Rauma River Visit Norway

The Rauma RiverThe Rauma River © VisitNorway

Europe's most beautiful railway line

In 2022, the Lonely Planet guide awarded the Raumabanen (Rauma Line) the title of "Europe's most beautiful railway line". Yulia Santalova, Production Manager at Discovery Trains, who tested this route, says: "I took the Rauma train in April. The weather wasn't ideal, but it was still an incredible journey. In fact, I'd say it was one of the most beautiful journeys I've ever made. The departure from Åndalsnes is breathtaking. The view of the fjord receding into the distance, the mountains surrounding us, the view over the river and the dense forest into which we plunge... It's an unforgettable moment".

The troll wall: the highest in Europe

Along the way, the Rauma train passes some of Norway's best-known tourist attractions, including the famous Trollstigen (Troll Ladder) and the Trollveggen (Troll Wall), an immense rock face - the highest in Europe - towering 1000 metres above the railway line. But beyond these spectacular natural sites, it's the entire route that fascinates: the Rauma train travels 114 km through rugged landscapes, immersed in untamed nature. The grandiose setting gives you an idea of just how perilous the construction of the Raumabanen was. In fact, it took 9 years to complete before it was inaugurated in 1924 by King Haakon of Norway.

Rauma Visit Norway

The Rauma River © VisitNorway

The Rauma train on the Kylling bridge

The route is punctuated by numerous tunnels and bridges. The most spectacular is the Kylling bru bridge, built in the shape of a horseshoe, which allows the Rauma train to cross the valley on a very narrow and steep section. As it crosses this bridge, the Norwegian train slows down to allow its passengers to admire the superb Vermafossen waterfall. It passes through the mountain villages of Lesja and Bjorli, where part of the Harry Potter series was filmed (the only sequence filmed outside the UK!).

Rauma8 VisitNorway

Kylling BridgeKylling Bridge © VisitNorway

A smooth connection to southern Norway

The journey on the Raumabanen takes just under two hours before you reach the terminus at Dombås. Here, you can make a very easy connection: the train heading south waits for the Rauma train to arrive before departing: everything is simple and efficient. Less than two hours later you'll be in Lillehammer, or less than four hours later directly in Oslo, where your discovery of Norway continues.

Rauma Train Discovery Trains

On board the Rauma train © Discovery Trains

Interested in the Rauma train? Visit our Norway by Train section to discover our "Norwegian Fjords" offer. The tour includes this extraordinary train as well as an overnight stay on board the Express Côtier.


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