By Train to the Midnight Sun
JULY 8-22, 2020
We travel by train to Lapland, the Land of the Midnight Sun, where reindeer stroll the streets and Father Christmas is said to live, and where you can ski round the clock in the summer. A long train journey can be a wondrous and romantic experience, like a fairytale. The train takes you away from your world and whisks you off through magic landscapes to mythical places you’ve only ever heard of, converting the dreamlands of your imagination into almost unbelievable realities. Along the way, we will occasionally break our journey in order to visit some fabled northern Baroque cities, built on islands and shimmering in the summer sea.
Day 1 Wednesday July 8:
Our tour begins at the St Pancras train station in London mid-Morning for our Eurostar journey to Koln via Brussels. Koln, Germany is a popular tourist destination with it’s magnificent Cathedral next door to the Hauptbahnhof in the center of the city. Overnight stay in Koln.
OVERNIGHT IN COLORFUL KOLN
Day 2 Thursday July 9: (B)
Half-way across Europe before supper! Leaving Koln this morning we travel via Hamburg and are due to arrive in København, Denmark by early evening.
Day 3 Friday July 10 (B,D)
A day sightseeing in København, the capital of Denmark. Today the cultural option will be a tour of København with an Englishspeaking, with a professional Guide. This will end on the waterfront where the group will embark for a boat trip round the harborr. There will also be time to see the famous statue of the Little Mermaid who sits on a rock out in the middle of the bay. . After lunch (own expense), the group will go to Helsinger by rail to visit the imposing Elsinore Castle where most of the action in Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet” is set. Meanwhile, the Rail Enthusiasts will visit the National Railway Museum, at Odense, where it is hoped there will be a train giving rides on the former harbor branch; and then to the Danish Tramways Museum where some trams should be in operation on a long running line laid on the trackbed of an old industrial railway.
ABOVE PHOTOS IN KOøBENHAVN, DENMARK
THE RAILFANS CAN VISIT THE NATIONAL RAILWAY MUSEUM IN NEARBY ODENSE
DANISH TRAMWAYS MUSEUM
Day 4 Saturday July 11: (B)
The things one lives to see! Nowadays one can get from Denmark to Sweden without having to take a boat, and we will go by train from København to Malmö across the extraordinary 10 mile Öresund link. It’s often called a bridge but, on an island in the middle, the enormous bridge ends and the train dives down into a tunnel. We carry on past Malmö and up the West coast of Sweden, through Göteborg, seat of a venerable university, where we will pause for a tour of the city’s extensive tram network in historic vehicles specially chartered from the local tramways preservation society. After a couple of hours, the tram will take us back to the station and we will continue our train journey, crossing into southern Norway, where we will spend two nights in Oslo.
WE TAKE THE TRAIN FROM DENMARK TO SWEDEN BY WAY OF THE BRIDGE AND TUNNEL
TAKING A CITY TOUR OF GOTEBORG VIA TRAM
Day 5 Sunday July 12: (B)
A day sightseeing in Oslo, the capital of Norway. The Cultural Option will consist of a tour of the center, with an English-speaking professional Guide. After lunch (own expense), the group will be taken for a ride on the Ljabru tram, a modern vehicle with large windows and a scenic route overlooking the Bay and the Port. The railfan group will take a train out into the country and go for a ride on the standard-gauge Krøderbanen preserved railway, whose beautiful varnished teak end- balcony carriages are normally steam-hauled by a handsome tender engine of a very Scandinavian appearance. Oslo has many quality restaurants and this evening is free for you to choose the type and location for your own Dinner.
DOWNTOWN OSLO, NORWAY
KRøDERBANEN PRESERVED RAILWAY NEAR OSLO
Day 6 Monday July 13: (B,D)
Today we continue our train journey northwards, an eight-hour journey from Oslo to Trondheim, but which we will break in Hamar in order to visit the Norwegian National Rail Museum.Here it is hoped a 750mm gauge loco will be giving rides.. Hotel check-in and overnight stay.
NORWEGIAN NATIONAL RAIL MUSEUM’S
750MM GAUGE RAILROAD
Day 7 Tuesday July 14: (B,D)
Sightseeing day in Trondheim, home of the world’s most northerly Gothic Cathedral. The city is also the home of the Norwegian Crown Jewels and has some splendid historical sights. There are also ferry links to some of the outer islands - if you fancy a short cruise! During the day, a trip will be organized on what is often called the most northerly operating tram route which climbs across the face of the escarpment which hangs over the city, giving some fine views.
PHOTOS BELOW ARE OF BEAUTIFUL TRONDHEIM, NORWAY
Day 8 Wednesday July 15: (B,D)
Today the romance of our journey really begins! We take the daytime Trondheim-Bodø service, north, during which we will cross the Arctic Circle; it won’t get dark tonight! The line is not electrified and we will be hauled by a big diesel, one of the few which Norway possesses. There is a café on the train, and proper carriages where the seats are lined up with the windows and you can watch in comfort as some end-of-the-world type scenery glides past. Overnight in Bodø.
Day 9 Thursday July 16: (B,D)
Bodø is the northern railhead of the Norwegian system (the Railway never got to Narvik). Narvik, which is in Norway, is an important port which played a vital rôle in the Second World War, but it is only connected to the Swedish rail network. We will leave Narvik by train, but today we will arrive there by bus (bit of an anti-climax, really, but what can one do?). Afternoon of free time in Narvik. There are interesting museums to visit, with exhibits related to the iron ore mining industry and the construction of the railway, or the part played by Narvik in the Second World War, while the railway enthusiasts will want to be at the station to see the huge double twin-unit locomotives working the heavy iron-ore trains. Dedicated skiers in the group might think of going up to Riksgransen, the ski resort on the Swedish border: as the sun doesn’t set, in the summer, the facilities stay open 24 hours a day and you can ski all through what we would call the night. Overnight in Narvik.
WHILE IN NARVIK THE RAILFANS MAY WANT TO GO DOWN TO THE STATION
AND PHOTOGRAPH THE HEAVEY IRON ORE TRAINS PULLED
BY THE HUGE TWIN END ELECTRICS
Day 10 Friday July 17: (B)
Free morning and then the return journey starts, all the way from Lapland to London by train! We will leave Narvik on Train 93, the overnight to Stockholm which departs mid-afternoon.
Day 11 Saturday July 18: (B)
The overnight train arrives in Stockholm early morning. On the train, Breakfast packs are available to us before we arrive. The hotel is situated across the road from the station and luggage can be left there until check-in. For those who are interested, the Swedish National Railway Museum is at Gavle and so we retrace our steps by train for a visit. Transfer to and from the Museum when we arrive at Gavle is by historic railcar. Those staying in Stockholm will have a city tour with an English –speaking professional guide. Overnight in Stockholm for two nights.
Day 12 Sunday July 19: (B,L)
The steamship ‘Mariefred’ (yes, it really is steam powered!) will take us for an island-studied voyage down the coast (lunch included) to, appropriately enough, Mariefred, for a ride on the 600mm narrow gauge Östra Södermanlands Järnväg. The ÖSlJ sends a steam train down the HarborBranch to meet the ship. Here you can get a shot which includes them both-steamship and steam train- making it one of the must-get photos of the trip. Railfan will want the ride along the branch, which is not otherwise used. From the other end of the ÖSlJ, there are regular trains back to Stockholm and people can return at their leisure, when they’ve ready.
ENJOY A STEAM BOAT LUNCH CRUISE ONBOARD THE MARIEFRED
Day 13 Monday July 20: (B,D)
Today we will have a Free morning in Stockholm; there is so much to do and see. But here are some suggestions: you could go for a 2-hour city tour by boat, along the canals and round some of the islands, though you won’t see them all as there are said to be 24,000 of them; or go to the Wasa Museum and see the sixteenth century warship they famously dug out of the mud of the harbor, a Scandinavian Mary Rose. The Swedes, being very nostalgic, a tram route has been allowed to survive which is worked with historic vehicles, each one a museum piece. Meanwhile, train enthusiasts might want to ride the 891mm narrow gauge suburban railways. Leaving Stockholm at 3.20pm we travel south to the delightful city of Malmö for our overnight stay.
Day 14 Tuesday July 21: (B, D)
Today is free for your own exploration of Malmö. Alternatively trains leave every 30 minutes to the beautiful town of Ystad - famous because of the TV detective “Kurt Wallander”, played by Kenneth Branagh. Leaving Malmö early afternoon we head south via Kobenhavn to Hamburg for our overnight stay. Refreshments are available on the train before we arrive in Hamburg at 8pm. Farewell dinner at the hotel.
Day 15 Wednesday July 22: (B)
We travel back to the UK on the route Hamburg - Köln - Brussels - London St.Pancras (arriving in the evening). End of tour upon arrival back in London
ALL PRICES ARE PER PERSON
SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT$595
DEPOSIT TO HOLD SPACE CONFIRMED$1,500
FINAL PAYMENT DUE BY MAY 11, 2020
TOUR CONDITIONS FOR 2020 **PLEASE READ CAREFULLY**
Tour Price: All tour prices are subject to change without notice, at any time. All prices based on double room occupancy. Those people that use a credit card for payments a 3% conveyance fee will be added to the tour price. We reserve the right to change tour prices if necessary without prior notice.