NSB agents I've spoken with told me they will hold an unpaid reservation for one week (that may be 5 business
days) then a reservation will be cancelled if unpaid. You may want to contact them again, perhaps by email, to
see if they will retain your reservation until you get there.
Also, regarding RailEurope.com, we obtained "tickets" from them successfully, but this is not the same thing as
having seats on the train. In correspondence from 3 June 2014, NSB's customer support said "You can book at
RailEurope.com but if you book there you will just get the trainticket, and there can therefore be a problem if you
are travelling with trains that require seat reservations.... Seat reservations have to be booked by phone if the
online booking with www.nsb.no does not go through."
In later correspondence, they also wrote "If you call the costumer service to book a reservation you do not
need 3D secure code. This is only a protection against fraud with online purchases." But when I called and
tried to make reservations, they would not accept either of our Visa cards because they did not have "3D
Secure" feature. It appears that the NSB customer service agents are not all 'reading from the same page'
or perhaps the policy in this regard changed recently and everyone didn't get the memo?
So with RailEurope.com 'tickets' in hand I called NSB about seat reservations. The agent I spoke with confirmed
that separate seat reservations were necessary. They were happy to make these, but required a payment of
NOK 50 for each seat. And of course, they would only take credit cards that were 3D Secure enabled, so I
could not complete these reservations.
But the agent suggested that I call them a week before our intended train travel date and make seat
reservations then without paying - So they will hold these for a week. But we will be in Norway a few
days prior to the train day, so can go to the train station and pay up then (in cash, if necessary). The
only problem with this plan (which may be the only one left for us) is that we plan to travel on a busy
train and there is no guarantee that we can get them, and if we can, my wife and I may or may not be
able to sit together.
Frustrating situation all around. But I recall something Rick Steves once said, which I think was roughly
"If your foreign travel doesn't meet your expectations, change your expectations." We're trying to keep
this advice in mind.
Good luck with your travels.
-- Scott R.