RAUMA RAILWAY

Rauma Railway is one of Norway’s most beautiful and spectacular railway lines. It starts at Dombås and ends 114 kilometers further west, at Åndalsnes down by the Romsdalsfjord.

The area which the Rauma Line passes through are some of Norway’s most famous tourist attractions. Trollveggen, Romsdalshorn and Rauma River are some of them.

Text and photo: Leif Johnny Olestad

Visit Northwest

Visit Northwest is the official destination company for the Romsdalsfjord, Romsdal and Nordmøre area.

Travel green with Rauma Railway to and from Åndalsnes

FJORDS NORWAY - The Rauma Railway runs over the Kylling Bridge at Verma in Romsdalen.
The Rauma Railway runs over the Kylling Bridge at Verma in Romsdalen.

The Rauma Railway between Dombås and Åndalsnes is voted as Europe´s most scenic Rail Journey by Lonely Planet.

Take the train to the end-station Åndalsnes at one of Norways most spectacular railways. Tom Cruise used the Rauma Railway when filming Mission Impossible 7.

The Rauma Railway is one of the country’s most beautiful and wildest railway sections. It starts at Dombås and ends 114 kilometers further west, at Åndalsnes down by the Romsdalsfjord.

The area through which the Rauma Railway runs houses some of Norway’s most famous tourist attractions. Trollveggen, Romsdalshorn and Rauma Elv are the most famous.

Train tickets on the Rauma Line can be ordered at SJ NORD.

We start the train ride at Dombås

FJORDS NORWAY - Jora Bridge on Rauma Railway
Jora Bridge – Rauma Railway. Photo: Leif Johnny Olestad.

The Rauma Line is 114.2 kilometer long and goes from Dombås to Åndalsnes by the Romsdalsfjord. After leaving Dombås, the train run across Jora bridge. The bridge is constructed of white granite. Altitude from the bridge down to the river is 37 meters.

We now leave Dovre municipality and arrive in Lesja municipality. From there, towards Dovrebygda, you can see the beautiful mountain named Storkuva, 1452 masl. The Rondane mountains can be seen from there in clear days.

Lesja – the village between high mountains and fjords

Before year 1860, lake Lesjavatnet was one big lake, from Lesja and up to Lora. The lake was drained off, and the area was then used as farm land. At the bottom of the lake, there were enormous layers of clay and mud (from the ice age). On this side of the valley, the railway go through a big scree from that age.

To the left you can see Lesja church from year 1748, especially known for it´s unusual gorgeous carved altarpiece. Here you can also see parts of the lake Lesjaskogsvatnet, which forms the watershed between the East and the North-West part of the country.

Lake Lesjaskogsvatnet is one of the few lakes in Norway that has two outlets. Gudbransdalslågen river runs from the east end and Rauma river runs from the other end, towards west.

Bjorli – the winter paradise by Rauma Railway

Bjorli next. This place has the latest years developed to become a tourist center. This is one of Norways most snow reliable skicenters, it has several skilifts and prepared alpine courses. Also a nice area for crosscountry skiing and skiing in the forest and at the surrounding mountains. At summertime, Bjorli is a popular startingpoint for mountaineering. Also horse riding and fishing are popular. There is also a small airport there, and Bjorli also has a great parachute milieu.

FJORDS NORGE - Stuguflåtbrua på Raumabanen. Foto: Leif Johnny Olestad
Stuguflåtbrua Railway Bridge. Photo: Leif Johnny Olestad

The journey continues, passing Bjorli Railway Station with water tower and a train turntable. This is where the steep, adventurous, and absolutely the most beautiful part of the Rauma Line starts.

At Bjorli, the railway is crossing Rauma river for the first time at Bøvermo railway bridge. It continues in a steep slope with Rauma river at the right side until it again crosses the river at Stuguflåten railway bridge (stone bridge). Below Stuguflåten we arrive Møre og Romsdal county, and we see a change to more dramatic and spectacular surroundings.

The turning tunnels at Verma

FJORDS NORWAY - Rauma Railway Map of Stavem Reversal Tunnel, Kylling Tunnel and Kylling Bridge.
Rauma Railway Map of Stavem Reversal Tunnel, Kylling Tunnel and Kylling Bridge.

Because of the steep terrain, it was impossible for the Rauma Line to follow the highway (E 136 today) downwards from the county boundary. The railway was built higher up at the east side of the valley. This became a problem due to the altitude difference between the bottom of the valley and the railway.

To get the railway down towards the bottom of the valley, they had to build two turning tunnels with double loop at Verma. Higher up in the valley (332 meter altitude) the railway go in to the 1340 meter long Stavem turning tunnel. With a radius of 275 meter it does a U-turn in the tunnel. The railway leaves the tunnel in opposite direction, and at the exit you have a fantastic view down towards the Romsdalen Valley.

Kylling Bridge across Rauma River

FJORDS NORGE - Kylling Bru på Raumabanen. Foto: Leif Johnny Olestad
Kylling Bridge and Rauma River. Photo: Leif Johnny Olestad

After three kilometers, close to Verma station, the railway goes into the 440 meter long Kylling turning tunnel. The Rauma Line has a loop of 275 meter radius in the tunnel and then crosses Kylling bridge. This gorgeous stone bridge is the most famous railway bridge in Norway. The bridge is now flood-lit, and can be seen in the darkness.

Kylling bridge is made of solid gneissic granite. The length is 76 meters and the height down to Rauma River is 59.3 meters. The sight from the train down the Vermafossen Waterfall Canyon with Rauma River is one of the main attractions of the journey along the Rauma Line.

Kylling bridge is a beautiful, gorgeous and unik stone bridge construction. In this way, the railway was created in three levels. It became 7.4 kilometer longer to lower it by 120 meters.

From Verma, there is a short trail down towards the gorge where a great viewpoint has been created. From there you can see the Kylling bridge, the river gorge and the Rauma river.

Romsdalen Valley and the mighty waterfalls

FJORDS NORGE - Gravdefossen i Romsdalen. Foto: Øyvind Heen - fjords.com
Gravdefossen Waterfall in Romsdalen. Photo: Øyvind Heen – fjords.com

Then the train is passing Vermafossen waterfall with a 850 meter drop. Further down the valley and across Rauma river, over Foss bridge to the east. This is the start of the more alpine mountains in Romsdalen, with steep mountainsides on both sides of Rauma Railway.

The scenery is wild and spectacular, and several waterfalls are cascading down the mountains. Brudesløret (the bridal veil) is the name of one of them, east of Flatmark. Gravdefossen and Mongefossen waterfalls on the north side between Verma and Marstein looks even mightier. The mountains now appears in a row. First Trollveggen, then Romsdalshorn, Karlskråtind, Mongeura and Vengetindene.

Åndalsnes by the Romsdalsfjord

FJORDS NORGE - Åndalsnes Stasjon, endestasjonen på Raumabanen. Foto: Leif Johnny Olestad
Åndalsnes Railway Station. Photo: Leif Johnny Olestad

The train then soon arrives Åndalsnes, and to the right you pass the city mountain Nesaksla (715 masl).

From Åndalsnes Railway Station, you can walk straight from the train and over to the Romsdal Gondola that takes you up to Mt Nesaksla.

From there you have a fantastic view down to the Romsdalsfjord and up towards Romsdalen Valley which you have just experienced from the train ride along the Rauma Line.

A journey with Rauma Railway is both wild, beautiful and unique regardless of season. From Åndalsnes there are corresponding buses to the cities of Molde and Ålesund.

Rauma Railway – The construction

Scaffolding construction at Kylling Bridge. Photo: Edvard Sæterbø
Scaffolding construction at Kylling Bridge. Photo: Edvard Sæterbø

The Norwegian Parliament approved the building of Rauma Railway between Dombås and Åndalsnes on July 9th, 1908.

The construction work started january on 24th 1912 at Jora Bridge and Kylling Bridge. Four work teams took part. In october same year, another work team started at Åndalsnes, which now was decided to be the end station at Rauma Railway.

Due to the long construction time at Rauma Railway, a contionous replacement of workers took place. The line was divided in four sections, and no less than 13 sectional engineers had their work at Rauma Railway.

The Rauma Railway was officially inaugurated on November 29, 1924.

Åndalsnes – the “Hub” by the Romsdalsfjord

Åndalsnes, the alpine town by the Romsdalsfjord.
Åndalsnes, the alpine town by the Romsdalsfjord.

-Then he told him about Åndalsnes, a tiny settlement up in Romsdalen Valley, surrounded by high mountains which were so beautiful that his mother had always said that that was where God had started when He was creating the world, and that He had spent so long on Romsdalen that the rest of the world had to be done post-haste to be finished by Sunday. Jo Nesbø, The Bat

Åndalsnes is the “Hub” in Romsdal, and is situated in the middle of all the great things that is worth seeing and doing in the Romsdalsfjord area.

View towards Åndalsnes and the Isfjorden from Klungnes.
View towards Åndalsnes and the Isfjorden from Klungnes.

Åndalsnes is a great place to stay if you want to see and explore Trollstigen, Trollveggen, the Romsdal Gondola, the Rauma Railway and the Romsdalseggen mountain ridge.

Geiranger and the Geirangerfjord are well known places nearby. The road there, Geiranger – Trollstigen National Tourist Route, is an attraction in itself.

If you go westwards, you have the Atlantic Coast with the Atlantic Road, Ona Island with Ona Lighthouse, Bjørnsund and Midsundtrappene. Go North-East, and you will find the beautiful Eikesdal and the Mardalsfossen Waterfall, Aursjøvegen Mountainroad, and Litjdalen Valley. The cities of Ålesund, Molde and Kristiansund are nearby. 

The Norwegian Mountaineering Centre at Åndalsnes by the Romsdalsfjord.
The Norwegian Mountaineering Centre at Åndalsnes by the Romsdalsfjord.

Romsdalsfjord – What to See and Do

Litlefjellet in Romsdal.
Litlefjellet in Romsdal.

From snowy mountains to beautiful coastline of islands and reefs. Experience all this in one day due to the short distance from mountains to coast.

Trollstigen, The Troll Wall, Romsdalseggen, Rampestreken and Litlefjellet are great places to visit in the inner part of the Romsdalsfjord, where the fjord meets the spectacular and alpine Romsdal mountains.

Drive to the viewpoint Varden at 407 masl and take in the spectacular Molde Panoramic View towards the Romsdalsfjord and the 222 snowcapped mountains. Ona Island and Ona Lighthouse, The Atlantic Road and Midsundtrappene are attractions facing the Atlantic Ocean.

Travel green to Åndalsnes with Rauma Railway, a wild, beautiful and unique experience regardless of season. From Åndalsnes Railway Station, you can walk straight from the train and over to the Romsdal Gondola that takes you up to the city-mountain Mt Nesaksla and Eggen Restaurant.

From Mt Nesaksla you have a fantastic view towards Isfjorden, down to the Romsdalsfjord and up towards the Romsdalen Valley which you have just experienced from the train ride along the Rauma Railway. The Romsdalsfjord is located in the county of Møre og Romsdal, north in Western Norway.

Hotels and Accommodation at Åndalsnes and Romsdal

Grand Hotel at Åndalsnes
Frich´s Ekspress Hotel Åndalsnes
Aak Hotel in Romsdalen by Åndalsnes
Åndalsnes Vandrerhjem at Setnes at Veblungsnes
Åndalsnes Camping by Rauma River at Åndalsnes
Mjelva Camping at Mjelva at Åndalsnes
Soggebru Camping at Sogge at Åndalsnes
Trollstigen Resort at Sogge at Åndalsnes
Trollstigen Gjestegård og Camping in Isterdalen below Trollstigen
Trollveggen Camping by the Troll Wall in Romsdalen
Accommodation in Isfjorden

Åndalsnes and Romsdal – Useful Links

Online Booking Romsdalseggen Bus
Romsdal.com – Hiking Guide to the mountains in Romsdal
Norsk Tindesenter at Åndalsnes
Fjords.com – Åndalsnes in Romsdal
Fjords.com – Trollstigen in Romsdal
Fjords.com – The Romsdalsfjord
Fjords.com – Romsdalseggen
Fjords.com – Romsdal Gondola
Fjords.com – Rauma Railway

 

HOTELS - LINKS - FAQ

Here you will find an overview of recommended HOTELS in addition to SPA & BATH HOTELS and OTHER ACCOMMODATION PLACES in Western Norway. The combination of beautiful nature, activities that you can do in all four seasons and a stay at a great accommodation is unique. A stay in one of these places will do you good, both for body and mind.

There are ten restaurants that have awarded Michelin stars and Michelin awards in Western Norway. Eight of the Michelin restaurants are in Stavanger and two in Bergen. Here you will find FJORDS MICHELIN, where you will also find a list of recommended hotels in Western Norway, recommended by Michelin.

USEFUL LINKS is a list of websites with great information on Norway and the Fjords. FAQ is an overview of articles that answer the most common questions you have when planning to visit the fjords in Western Norway.

Rauma Railway – Map Overview