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The December gallery :

Flåmsbana !

Flåmsbana (Prononce : „Flohmsbana") is the norvegian name for the RR line Myrdal – Flåm of the norvegian state railways NSB. Myrdal is located on the Oslo – Bergen line („Bergensbana"), not very far from Finse, the highest station of the norvegian railways. Flåm is at the Skognefjord shore, at sea level, and is the starting point of much boat cruises to Bergen or Trondheim through the Fjords.


The 20 km long railway line has more than 900m height difference, what gives an average ramp of 45 on 1000 (As comparison: The swiss Lötschbergbahn has 35 on 1000 only). During WW2, it was electrificated with AC 15000V 16 2/3Hz on behalf of the german occupation authorities, for comparative with the experimentally with 20kV 50Hz electrificated „Höllentalbahn" (Freiburg-Titisee) of the german railways DRG, with quite similar ramps.


These heavy ramps needed special constructed vehicles. The 3 electric engines type El 9 were built specially for this line (One of them is exhibited in Flåm). Later came altered El 11‘s with rheostatic brakes, EMUs type BM 69 (from the Oslo rapid transit network), and sometimes EMUs type X 10 from the Stockholm rapid transit network SL (Storstockholms Lokaltrafik AB).


I discovered Flåmsbana 1988 while a journey with my train hunter colleague Bernard Boch, and went back there 1994 with a special train for the MOROP-convention. Here my pictural rememberings of this really nice railway :

9/10 August 1988 :

The former station Oslo West (now closed), El 11.2093 with an express train to Stavanger.

The El 16.2213 at Oslo Sentral, with the fast train to Bergen.

An other El 16 with a train in direction of Göteborg and København (Copenhague).

Underway to Myrdal, the Bergensbana line (Oslo - Bergen) passes Finse, the highest station of the norvegian railways (1222.2 ASL).

Short after Myrdal, the 1st stop near the famous Kloftefossen waterfalls.


In Flåm, the specially equipped El 11 for the Flåmsbana.

One of the BM 69 EMUs, making the bigger part of the traffic.

Hello, It’s me ! Do you mean, you have already seen this picture anywhere ? That‘s normal, that was last month‘s Railphot Quiz picture ! It was shot by Bernard Boch, on a boat quai not far of the Flåm station. As background, the Skognefjord.

Little local speciality : The battery operated shunter XSka 207.3

The dramatic ramp change at Vatnahalsen in direction of Flåm, where the ramp changes from 0 to 55 / mille.


The El 11 shunting in Myrdal to get back at the head of the next train to Flåm.

From Myrdal, the mainline goes further to Bergen. Perhaps a next RailPhot gallery …?

24 August 1994 :

Underway to Myrdal, crossing of a rapid train to Oslo at Ål. The black marks on the dark part of the El 16.2205 result of the advertising stickers "Med NSB til OL'95", for the olympic games of Lillehammer.

The "Station" Kloftefossen. This stop is only for the waterfalls. The wooden perron cover all the lenght of the station, located between 2 tunnels.

In Flåm, the both EMU types assuring the traffic : the norvegian BM 69 (left) and swedish X 10 of the city transport authority of Stockholm SL (right).

XSkd 207.3 again (with El 11.2098).

El 9.2063, as "flower pot " in front of the station.

The drivers cab of the X10, at Kloftefossen

Some ambience scenes in Myrdal, upper terminus of the line.

Back to Oslo with El 14.2176 and the Bergen train. Arrival at Oslo S under moonlight…


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© Pierre-Noël Rietsch 1999


© Pierre-Noël Rietsch, Zürich 1999