Sleeper Train Bucket List: Norway and the Arctic Circle

By Kabelleger / David Gubler ( (Own work: [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
The Nordland Railway (or Northern Railway) runs between the historic city of Trondheim and the beautiful Northern town of Bodø. The 729 km. long railway crosses the Arctic Circle and takes you through stunning Norwegian scenery. The whole journey takes about 10 hours. The train departs twice a day, and also runs as a night train with sleeping compartments.

Cross the Arctic Circle, visit the land of the Midnight Sun in mid-June or see the Northern Lights in complete winter darkness. The Nordland Railway runs from Trondheim to Bodo, Norway.

A word of caution, I’ve heard from others that photographing the Northern Lights isn’t as easy as it sounds, so plan on a tripod and a camera with a long exposure.

If you’re looking to get there and take the train one way, Norwegian Air Shuttle offers flights from London (Gatwick) to both Trondheim and Bodo.

You may want to check out this or this fantastical Netflix series to hype yourself up for the trip.

Service / Route

In its 452-miles route, the Nordland Railway passes through 44 stations, over 293 bridges and through 154 tunnels. It is the longest rail line in Norway, operating twice-daily passenger service, and is also used for shipment of iron ore and lumber.

Schedule / Cost / How to Book

The overnight trip from Trondheim in the south to Bodo in the north lasts over 9 1/2 hours, from 11:40pm until 9:15am. A second afternoon train departs daily at 7:38am and makes the trip one hour quicker. Service is also available in the opposite direction, leaving at 9:10pm and lasting 10 1/2 hours.

Discount tickets are 249 NOK each and sleeper compartment (for two) is 900 NOK. In total, two one-way tickets with 2-person sleeper compartment cost 1398 NOK ($165 USD).

Photo credit: By Kabelleger / David Gubler ( (Own work: [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons]

Bucket List: Chicago to New Orleans by Pullman Sleeper

Photo: Pontchartrain Club and Dome cars, Pullman Rail Journeys

Update (Sept 2021): Sadly, Pullman Rail Journeys’ site is down and it appears service has been suspended. Amtrak’s City of New Orleans, however, still runs daily with sleeper accommodations.

Imagine coasting your way down from the Great Lakes to the Gulf coast on a day-long train voyage in your own private cabin with four-star service. Seventy years ago this hotel-like choice of conveyance was commonplace, though it was soon to be replaced by air travel. Luckily, this more leisurely paced and gravity-bound first-class experience has been resurrected. (more…)