Building a railroad from the Myrdal Plateau hundreds of kilometers above the Flam valley became a major engineering challenge in the 1920’s. It was opened to steam trains in 1940 and the current propulsion of electricity in 1944. The train snakes its way over 20 kilometers of track through 20 tunnels at an incline of 55%. It is the steepest adhesion-type (normal) system running on standard gauge track in the world. Besides being a major tourist attraction of Norway, it is also an important link with the Bergen railway system and part of the transportation system of this country. A couple who sat with us on the way back to Flam from Myrdal were traveling to their next vacation stop in Flam. Their luggage was in the baggage car at the front of the train.
There is only one track with a passing siding about half way down the mountain where one train can stop while the other goes by. Also about 3/4 the way to Myrdal, there is a 5 minute stop to watch the legendary female spirit ungulate and call the enchanted to follow her into the cascading waterfall. This is done with seductive music.
At Myrdal, we had a pancake and coffee before returning back down to Flam. It was another day of engineering marvels and fantastic scenery.