SJ to reintroduce high-speed trains between Oslo and Stockholm

The number of daily departures between Stockholm and Oslo will increase to five during the week, three of which will be express trains, Sweden's state-owned train operator SJ announced Tuesday.

Swedish train
SJ's booking site crashed once tickets for Christmas were released. Photo: SJ

For the first time in five years, there will be five daily train departures between the Norwegian and Swedish capitals, Sweden’s SJ has announced.  

The change comes as work on the train lines on the Norwegian leg of the route – which have been ongoing for multiple years – is close to being complete, the Swedish company said in a press release.

Today, there are two direct trains between Oslo and Stockholm on certain days, while there is one or none on others.

From December 11th, however, the frequency will increase, as the work which has lasted for five years will be finished. Tickets for the expanded service between Oslo and Stockholm go on sale from November 9th. Customers can purchase them via the company’s website or in its app.

As part of the expanded timetable between the two cities, SJ will run five departures on weekdays in each direction, three on Saturdays and four on Sundays, the Swedish company wrote on its website.

“More than half of the departures will be by express train, that is, fast and comfortable trains where you can choose between multiple classes. With the fast trains, you can travel between the capitals in just over five hours,” Martin Drakenberg, business manager at SJ, said in the announcement.

However, in the summer of 2023, traffic between Stockholm and Oslo will be affected by the planned track work between Laxå and Kristinehamn.

While the work lasts, the trains will be rerouted and have a longer journey time. More detailed information about this will be published in the spring.

“After a long time of track works on the route, this will actually be the last major work. We are very happy that we can now make long-term investments in this important and popular train line,” Drakenberg notes.

Expanded timetable may cut down on flights between the two cities

Last month, a joint study by the Swedish Transport Agency and Norwegian Railway Directorate found that better train links between the two cities could save around half a million journeys by plane.

That study referred to a potential service that could cut the journey time between the two capitals to under four hours. Still, SJ is hopeful that the increased departures between Stockholm and Oslo would help cut emissions. 

“You save around 100 kilos of Co2 per person, per round trip, by choosing the train over the plane. There are significant emissions if you think about the many flights that go between Oslo and Stockholm,” SJ Norge boss Rikke Lind told business news site E24

“We are an overly flight-happy nation. Now Norwegian companies really have to take a step forward. We must create a culture among companies in Norway where people choose climate-smart travel. It will be an important part of the climate cuts in the companies’ accounts,” she added. 

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TRAVEL: Why the Bergen to Oslo train is a must-take journey

As one of the most scenic train rides in the world, the Bergen to Oslo train journey is a bucket-list experience for any avid traveller.

TRAVEL: Why the Bergen to Oslo train is a must-take journey

Stretching across roughly 500 kilometres of stunning Norwegian landscape (think waterfalls, hills and valleys, charming wooden houses, lakes, and rivers), the Bergen to Oslo railway route is not just a mode of transportation – it’s a unique chance to experience Norway’s beauty.

Often described as one of the most scenic train rides in the world, this railway route offers travellers a fantastic perspective on the country’s geographical splendour and rich cultural heritage.

READ MORE: The key things you need to know about Norway’s Bergen Line

It’s also a journey to be enjoyed slowly – the trip takes between six and a half and seven and a half hours, making it a great day trip option or a relaxing part of your broader Norwegian adventure.

Awe-inspiring landscapes and historical significance

As the train chugs from the coastal city of Bergen in western Norway to the capital city, Oslo, in the east, passengers get to see a panorama of fjords, waterfalls, mountain plateaus, and picturesque villages.

One moment, you’re skirting alongside a shimmering lake, and the next, you’re climbing snow-capped heights (the amount of snow depends on the time of year you take the trip), only to plunge into green valleys below a while later.

At an altitude of about 1,220 meters, the train crosses the Hardangervidda plateau, Europe’s highest mountainous plateau.

This region is known for its raw beauty, characterised by barren landscapes dotted with glacial lakes and rugged peaks.

Beyond the breathtaking views, the Bergen to Oslo railway also stands as a testament to human engineering and perseverance.

Completed in 1909, constructing this railway was no small feat. Workers had to combat harsh weather conditions, challenging terrains, and logistical problems.

The highest point of the trip between Bergen and the capital, Finse, also has a rich history.

The location served as the backdrop for the ice planet Hoth in Star Wars and was also the training ground for Robert Falcon Scott’s 1912 South Pole Expedition.


A red house photographed in the Myrdal area on the Bergen Line. Photo by Rachel McGrane on Unsplash

The comforts on board the train

Modern Norwegian trains are generally designed with passengers’ comfort in mind. Relatively spacious seats, large windows, charging slots for electronic devices, and facilities like Wi-Fi ensure that travellers can enjoy the views in a relaxed setting.

However, the Wi-Fi is pretty shaky at times (especially when you start going through the more mountainous terrain and tunnels) – so we don’t recommend relying solely on the on-board Wi-Fi if you also need to get some work in during the trip.

There is also room for bicycles and additional luggage on board; just remember to reserve a spot for your bike in advance.

If you get hungry during the trip, you can always stretch your legs and make your way to the onboard café.

There, you’ll find a decent selection of hot and cold dishes (pizzas, hot dogs, pre-made meals), baked products and desserts (several types of sweet buns, fruit), and beverages. You can enjoy your meal in the café or carry it back to your seat.

Night travellers aren’t left out either – a light evening menu is available throughout the night.

If you’re taking the line in the afternoon, there’s a chance that the café will offer food at half-price late in the evening (around 9 or 10 pm) to cut food waste. Don’t be surprised to see a stream of passengers heading for the café once the discount announcement is made via speaker.

Ticket options

Travellers can choose between a wide range of ticket options. At the time of writing, one-way tickets for adults ranged between ca. 850 and 1200 kroner. Much cheaper tickets are available when booking in advance. When booking in advance, a single can be purchased from 289 kroner. Tickets can be booked up to 90 days before the departure date and prices are based on demand and availability. 

The Vy Plus ticket provides extra comfortable seats. If you’re travelling with friends, family or colleagues, you can opt to share a compartment with two sofas, a shared table and room for up to six people.

You can also travel on a budget with Vy’s Lowfare tickets. If you take the night train, you have various sleeping options available. PlusNight features more comfortable lie-flat accommodation for when you want to get some sleep, while you can also opt for your own bed in a 2- or 6-berth compartment with the Sleeper and Rest ticket options.

The night train tickets also give travellers a discount on breakfast at partner hotels in the morning.

Furthermore, if you’re travelling with children, you can reserve seats in the Family carriage with a playroom for kids.

You can check all the other ticket options on Vy’s website.

It’s worth it

After six or seven hours on board the train from Oslo to Bergen, the first thing that comes to mind for many people is, “I need to do this again and share the experience with a friend/family member!”

So, if you get the opportunity to enjoy this train route, go for it. It might take a time investment on your end (the plane connection between Norway’s two largest cities is a much faster means of transport), but taking the train from Oslo to Bergen is well worth it.

Regardless of whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or simply a traveller seeking a memorable journey, this train ride will surely make a strong impression that will linger long after the journey’s end.