Sweden’s SJ railway company started operating some of what are billed as “Norway’s most beautiful train lines” from Monday. They include the venerable Dovrebanen over the Dovre mountains and Raumabanen through scenic Romsdal.
SJ won the bidding last year for the rail package known as Nord when Norway needed to break up former state railway NSB/Vy’s dominance of train operations. Lena Angela Nesteby of the newly established SJ Norge told newspaper Dagsavisen on Monday that all 300 former NSB/Vy employees have signed on to work the seven lines, so “the faces will be the same, but the uniforms new.”
The seven lines include Dovrebanen between Oslo and Trondheim, Rørosbanen between Hamar and Røros and on to Trondheim, Raumabanen between Dombås and Åndalsnes, Nordlandsbanen between Trondheim and Bodø, plus regional lines between Bodø and Mosjøen/Mo i Rana, and in Trøndelag.
Passengers will also now be able to purchase wine and beer not only in the small bistro carriage on the train but also be able to carry their drinks back to their seats. Menus will include Swedish favourites including meatballs and shrimp sandwiches but also some local products from the areas where the trains run, like Røros ice cream.
SJ also planned to start a new route between Oslo and Gothenburg in August, but it’s been postponed until August of next year because of Corona virus-related travel restrictions.