Are Trains in Norway Reliable? Answered!

Trains are some of the best methods of transportation in Norway, and allow you to relax and enjoy the spectacular view as you pass by incredible fjords, amazing mountains and wild forests. But are trains in Norway reliable enough to use as a means of public transportation?

Trains in Norway tend to be reliable when it comes to arrival and departure times, but the Norwegian railroad tend to need a lot of maintenance, so trains are somewhat often cancelled or rerouted.

View from a train in Norway

Short-range trains like the ones going between Oslo and nearby cities tend to have a much higher delay rate compared to long-range trains that goes between major cities like Oslo-Bergen or Oslo-Trondheim.

If you’re going on a long voyage with a train, expect it to depart and arrive at the exact minute it’s scheduled for. Inter-city trains and locals trains on the other hand tend to have a higher risk of short delays, such as 3 to 5 minute delays.

Nordlandsbanen, the train railroad between Trondheim and Bodø. Photo is somewhere close to Dalselv. Photo by: David Gubler / CC BY-SA 4.0.

Railway maintenance leads to delayed and canceled trains

Norway’s nature makes it difficult to keep the train tracks operational for too long without major maintenance, due to the shifting weather, high mountains that have rock slides or mud falls, and generally unstable nature.

There’s always a risk that your train will be severely delayed or even cancelled because of rock slides on the train track, which can take hours or even days to clear up.

The train companies usually offer bus rides in place of the canceled train rides, which is nice enough, but often tends to take a bit longer.

You can’t really know when or if trains are delayed or cancelled due to weather issues causing damage to the railway, so just cross your fingers and hope you don’t get affected. It’s not as common as the impression you might have gotten from this article, but it does happen at least a few times each summer.

Trains arriving at Bergen central station
Trains arriving at Bergen central station. Photo published with permission.

Norwegian trains are quite comfortable

As mentioned above, riding the train is one of the best ways to get around Norway. Many of the most common railway lines have spectacular views of incredible mountains or even directly down to a fjord, and will be much better than the view you get from a train or a car.

Most of the trains in Norway are rather old, but still have a high level of comfort. The long-range trains offer sleeping cabins, play areas for the children, silent zones, and a small restaurant where you can eat a meal.

Flåm Railway Line.
Flåm Railway Line.

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