Seven hours of Norwegian train trip comes to your BA in-flight TV!

British Airways is moving into ‘slow TV’ according to an announcement on Monday.

Impressed by the high viewing figures for the ‘moving map’, the airline has bought the rights to a seven hour TV programme filmed from a Norwegian cross-country train travelling from Bergen to Oslo.  It is a commentary-free seven hours of moving Norwegian countryside which was a surprising success when shown on Norwegian TV.

Norwegian train 2

If the video proves popular, BA may commission further films on knitting, walking in parks or bird feeding – apparently.

To quote:

“It fits perfectly with the wallpaper-style footage people find mesmerising,” BA on-board entertainment manager Richard D’Cruze said after securing the first airline rights to the rail film. “There’s a hypnotic, calming and entertaining quality to Slow TV that is perfect for in-flight entertainment.”

More information at Bloomberg here.

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  1. Tariq says:

    Great idea. If I’m a bit snoozy and don’t feel like concentrating on watching a film, I often just put the map on. Don’t need to have uncomfortable headphones on to listen to anything, often sends you to sleep, and when you wake up you can see instantly where you are!

    • Ricardo says:

      Me too. I wonder if all of us dozing off with the map left on for several hours are what’s really behind the high viewing figures

  2. I do wish they would focus on the basics rather than this rubbish. Simple food well cooked, depart on time with my bag, curteous service and use my name, good quality IFE with latest releases and complete TV series.
    It’s not hard, others do it every day. BA try all this flummery and esoteric nonsense, then fail miserably. To many people with nothing much to do!

  3. LondonFoodie says:

    Gives a new meaning to “watching the grass grow”

  4. Farringdon says:

    It’s a spectacular train journey. Well worth doing if you’re in Norway.

    • JohnG says:

      Exactly, in fact the only reason I probably wouldn’t watch it on a plane is that it’s on my list of things to do in the flesh!

      If they think it’s going to be popular with passengers then I really can’t see the reason why some people are complaining that they shouldn’t be focusing on ‘this rubbish’. Surely things that are popular with passengers are exactly what they should be focusing on.

  5. To be honest, I welcome ideas like this. On the First Great Western train from Bristol to Paddington they have a carriage with screens and I was surprised at the amount of well-being type programs e.g. meditation, breathing exercises, mindfulness. I like having this variety.

    I do think the IFE has incredible potential and opportunities but is completely under-utilised. Having touch screen TV’s in front of people’s faces for time periods up to 16 hours is a real opportunity for the airlines to engage and differentiate….

    Or maybe not…

  6. Czechoslovakia says:

    Just a shame BA didn’t choose an equivalent offering from British Rail. 7 hours of watching a broken down locomotive or Network Rail clearing leaves on the line would certainly help people drift of to sleep easier on board.
    Deutsche Bahn have there own dedicated tv channel!

  7. Simon says:

    It is supposed to be a great train journey, I’m doing the opposite journey from Oslo to Bergen this weekend

  8. Volker says:

    I like trains, the idea itself is good. But why buy footage from a foreign country? Why not produce a film about travelling Britain, at least to begin with? Create/secure jobs in the UK? And show passengers on BA flights (anywhere in the world) how beautiful the fleet’s home country is (attracting tourists, hopefully)?

    The recent documentary on BBC2 was called “A very British airline”, wasn’t it?

    • N3jly says:

      I don’t think it would have quite the same tranquil setting in Britain. there are parts of the rail network that are stunning, but not mile after mile for 7 hours. I mean who really wants to see 6 1/2 hours of graffiti and 1/2 hour of the lake district?

      • Frenske says:

        I have never take the train but I have travelled more or less the same route by car, I would guess Glasgow-Mallaig would be great for television. But why not live-streaming the view from the cockpit.

        • Probably because on a long flight the view from the cockpit can actually be quite dull.

          If it purely looked out of the window it would be dull for 90% of cruise and if it was set further back to capture the crew as well it would probably scare many passengers to see what they do (or more accurately DON’T do) during cruise.

          Seeing a night time thunderstorm in the distance ahead of you can be quite spectacular, as can seeing a plane coming out of the clouds flying straight towards you 1,000 or 2,000 feet below but most of the view ahead at altitude is nothing but cloud & empty sky.

    • JohnG says:

      The train journey they’ve picked is supposed to be one of the most beautiful in the world. It’s already been filmed and is apparently popular with an audience. I’m all for BA trying something like you suggest but it hardly seems like a good reason to ignore good content from elsewhere.

    • Chilibenny says:

      Yes lets show foreign passengers some of the great things to do and see in Britain. You could get them away from London and the South East and tempt them to travel to some of the great places in the other parts of the UK.

  9. Linda says:

    The Glasgow to Oban train journey is one they could do. Never done it myself but we followed adjacent to it in our motorhome for a fair distance a few weeks back and it looked stunning. May even go back and do it for real one day.
    Such screenings will appeal to some and not to others so why knock it? I love the travel map and knowing where we are. Something for everyone eh? I have flown BA many times and truly have never had a reason for complaint. Some others seem to have nothing but complaints ….so stop using them, there are plenty of alternative carriers.

    • Exactly, the Mallaig train journey is often mentioned as one of the most scenic on earth and includes the Glenfinnan viaduct (the Harry Potter viaduct). Also the slow speed of the train makes it a very long journey!

  10. Andrew S says:

    I get this… i would imagine very relaxing with some music via headphones.

    Incidentally i have 3 episodes of “Air crash investigation” on my Ipod. Do you think etiquette allows for me to watch this on tomorrow’s flight? 🙂

    • Czechoslovakia says:

      Probably not.
      Certainly not if you had been sat next to me on LH LCY-FRA on Friday morning. We suffered an engine failure at cruising alt. Totally undramatic, but not pleasing either!

      • Andrew S says:

        Very unlucky… although there are few crews i would have more confidence in.

        Reminds me of a time flying SpiceJet in India. Pilot did not announce his decent, and i had miscalculated the flight time. Cue an anxious few minutes being fobbed off by the stewardess that the pilot knew what he was doing whilst i was flapping we were about to descend into the ground.

        ^ Not sure i should admit to that one… and not my finest hour.

  11. Lady London says:

    Visual Muzak presumably without the noise. Yum. Seriously, I think they’re onto something there.

    • littlefish says:

      A thumbs up from me.
      Discovery used to do this sort of thing (not 7 hours worth) with sunrise in Yellowstone and such.
      An easy one for BA to make route specific too. Hmm maybe not all routes 🙂