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SWITZERLAND REPRISE -- 2009
Part 2:
Interlaken and Jungfrau Glacier

This page covers 5 small railways near Interlaken including the Jungfrau Glacier- Top of Europe trip.
 

INTERLAKEN to GRINDELWALD and JUNGFRAU
Using three different railways in the right order, we can make a "circle tour" of the Alps. The Berner Oberland Bahn
(BOB) meter gauge line connects Interlaken with the towns of Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen. The line opened in 1890 and was electrified in 1914. Normally the trains going to Zweilütschinen consist of two connected engines. Here, the engines are disconnected and one train travels to Grindelwald while the other train travels to Lauterbrunnen. Both towns offer train connections to the Wengernalp Railway.

 

 

 
On the way to Jungfraujock

Wengernalp Bahn (WAB), with 800 mm gauge track, is the world's longest continuous rack railway, connecting Lauterbrunnen, Kleine Scheidegg and Grindelwald, but the trains do not travel directly from Lauterbrunnen over to Grindelwald. Kleine Scheidegg is the starting point of the Jungfrau Railway.  

 

 


 

 

 
Wengernalp Bahn lnterchange at Kleine Scheidegg with the Jungfrau Bahn

 
Wengernalp Bahn lnterchange with BOB at Lauterbrunnen

The Jungfrau Bahn (JB)  connects at Kleine Scheidegg station with the Wengernalp Railway. The first track section from Kleine Scheidegg to Eiger Glacier was opened in 1898. In 1903 the section to the Eigerwand Station, and in 1905 the section to the Eismeer Station was completed. Finally in 1912 the railway reached the end destination at 3454 meters (11333 ft), just below the summit of the Jungfraujoch (4158m / 13642 ft). The majority of this line is in a tunnel and the Jungfrau station is underground. At the summit is a hotel, two restaurants, the Sphinx observatory research station, and the glistening "Ice Palace" carved into the living glacier. Called the "Top of Europe" the Jungfrau is the highlight of any trip to Switzerland.
       

 

 
On the Jungfrau Glacier

 
Kleine Scheidegg station

 
Jungfraujock station - Top of Europe 3454 meters


INTERLAKEN to  LAKE BRIENZ and LAKE THUN
Still steaming on 800 mm track in 2009,
It took only a year to build the Brienz Rothorn Bahn (BRB) in 1891. Regular service continued until WWI forced an end to it in 1914. Then the line stood still for 16 years. As a result, it became the last steam operated cog railway, because all other cog lines had been electrified. Even after 16 years, all the rolling stock was still fully functional and operation started again in 1931. The ride starts at the restored Valley Station just 15 Km from Interlaken. Our locomotive, #12, was built in 1992.

 

 

  

 
Old #1 (2nd) built 1892

 
Swiss chocolate on the hoof

The Schynige Platte Bahn (SPB)  was opened in 1893 and electrified in 1914. Many of its carriages and locomotives were first in service on the Wengernalp Railway. The 800 mm gauge cog railway starts in Wilderswill, near Interlaken,  and climbs 1420 meters over a distance of 7.25 km. Fog and rain obscured views of the Lakes Thun and Brienz, and the peaks of Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau. The alpine garden ls a highlight at the summit station.

 

 

 

 

See also  Part 1   Part 3   Part 4