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Norway rail pass questions, and what else don't I know that will cause us trouble

My adult son and I will be flying into Oslo on Sunday June 30 and out from Oslo home to Wisconsin on Saturday July 6. Our rough plan is get off the plane and get on a train to Bergen with a 3 or 4 day rail pass. We plan to spend Monday kicking around Bergen then train to Myrdal Tuesday and ride bikes to Flan. From there I have 2 or 3 options that I am considering but we will have to catch the train back to Oslo at some point. As I am trying to figure schedules and connections, several of the Bergen or Voss to Oslo trains are showing "sold out" on the vy.no website (I am on their booking site as if I am trying to purchase a point to point ticket but am just looking for train times).
My main question right now is about that. If I have a rail pass but the trains I am looking at are "sold out", is it as straightforward as it seems and I need to alter my plans to accommodate available train seating, then what do I need to do to ensure a seat on the available train I find? Or am I looking at this wrong and missing something? I have never been to Europe (my son has been 3 times, but never Norway) and am completely new to train travel and planning train travel. So there is that, and what am I not aware I should be thinking of?

A pretty broad plea for help, but it will be appreciated.

Posted by
1378 posts

You will be traveling at highest season to Norway. Normally first week of July can work but this year for example Germany will have early summer vacations. So, from my point of view book as early as possible what you can get.

July means also long daylight, so you can see also things in the late evening with a rest of daylight.

As I am a car traveler I am not very familiar with train bookings in Norway, just used sometimes around Oslo.

VisitNorway provides some rail travel tips and on the TA forum you will find some information about that - even only by search without posting.

With a week a car round trip can make sense as well, e.g. flying to Bergen and starting a car round trip to avoid expensive one-way rentals. Huge benefit that you can avoid the crowds, e.g. by touring around Hardangerfjord.

Posted by
16761 posts

Perhaps the latest train is sold out, or it could be cancelled. The 17:10 departure from Myrdal looks like it's also not sold out but has been retimed to take 33 minutes longer. (Schedules through DB reflect the longer timing, not two trains departing.) That's probably also why Rail Europe can't currently sell the seat reservation online for the 17:10 during your travel window, if the temporary change is not in their database. You can make multiple reservations when you first have your pass activated in Oslo or you can call to Norway at +47 61 05 19 10 (https://www.vy.no/en/help-and-contact/customer-service).

I understand that reservations are not actually required on these trains (if you're willing to stand), but are strongly recommended, especially around the summer solstice.