The small village of Flåm was located at a fjord which is part of the greater Sognefjord area. In the old days it was a very remote location which could only be reach by boat or a very long journey by horse drawn carriage which could only be done in the summer since the snow would make such a trip impossible during the winter time.
In 1939 Thomas Cook actually started promoting a trip to Flåm by horse drawn carriage as part of a trip to the village by horse cart. But by then the work on a rail line had already started. The work started in 1924 with the excavation of the first of twenty tunnels by hand. The building of this railway was extremely difficult because of the conditions. The railway had to go on a very steep track to cross the mountains and if the tracks were just built on the cliffs the track would be too steep for the train – hence they had to build all the tunnels.
The building of the rail line took a long time and cost a lot of money. People started calling the line the twenty line. The name came from the fact it took 20 years to build the line, they had to dig 20 tunnels, it cost 20 million NOK to build the tunnel and it had a total length of 20 kilometers. I guess this made it one of the slowest constructions by length as well as one of the most expensive.
The village ended up being very happy with the rail line. Today most people go to Flåm to ride the scenic rail line and then take a cruise back to Gudvangen from where they can catch a tour bus. Supposedly the village is always full of tourist arriving or departing the train – just not this year. This year there was hardly any tourist when we came to the village. I have no idea how many were on the train since we had gone on a tour just driving to the village – which did take us through a very long road tunnel – I guess the Norwegians has become better at building longer tunnels faster compared to when they built the rail line here.
We walk a little around the village and go in and have a look at the small museum which tells the story of the Flåm railway. It was fairly interesting to see so if you have any interest in trains do stop at the museum. And to make it even better – it was free to visit the museum.