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Jungfrau Railway

Travel Guide Europe Switzerland Jungfrau Railway

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Introduction

Jungfrau

Jungfrau

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The Jungfrau Railway or Jungfraubahn (JB) is perhaps as famous for its prices as for the spectacular views, but in this case you get what you pay for! The line climbs from Interlaken at a height of 500 metres to the Jungfraujoch Station which at 3,454 metres (11,332 feet) is the highest railway station in Europe.

The first section of the route from Interlaken heads to either Lauterbrunnen or by cog wheel railway to Grindelwald. From Grindelwald the cog railway ascends via the meadows of Alpiglen beneath the North Wall of the Eiger to the busy station of Kleine Scheidegg. Likewise, from Lauterbrunnen the train reaches kleine Scheidegg via Wengen via the steep forested slopes above Lauterbrunnen.

The section above Kleine Scheidegg is a marvel of engineering. A short climb to Eigergletcher Station - which serves remarkably good food for a station cafe - is followed by a tunnel through the solid rock of the Eiger itself. There are 2 stops on the way up to break this journey in the dark, and passengers can leave the train for a few minutes to admire the view through huge windows, firstly at Eigerwand which looks straight down the North Face to Alpiglen from an altitude of 2,865 metres (9,400 feet) and secondly at Eismeer where the outlook is a scene of permanent ice and snow.

The terminus known as "Top of Europe" is an underground station with tunnels leading out onto the glacier surface of the Jungfraujoch. Visitors from the lowlands will notice both the thin air and the chill - the average temperature here in midsummer is just below freezing. Remaining indoors, there's the Ice Palace, a fascinating collection of ice sculptures actually within the glacier itself or head out to the ice plateau for stunning views which stretch as far as the Black Forest in Germany. In good weather, husky sled rides and summer skiing are popular, or to go higher, take the lift to the Sphinx Observatory for more expansive views. Higher still, a marked out and poled trail leads up over the glacier to the Monchsjoch Hut at 3,657 metres (almost 12,000 feet), the highest hiking trail in The Alps. This hike is entirely within the Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Opening Hours

The first train leaves Interlaken just after 6:00am and the last one down is 5:50pm but check this locally before travelling.

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Cost

Expensive! The full return fare from Interlaken is around SFr180 but this is slightly less if you're staying in say Grindelwald. The Swiss Half Fare card is valid on the full network halving the above figure while the Swiss Pass (free travel card) is valid part way but only gives a 25% reduction above Kleine Scheidegg.

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Getting There

You need to get to Interlaken first, further connections go from here (see above).

By Train

Interlaken is on the main line from Bern International airport and connections go through here. Check the Swiss Federal Railways for more information about schedules and prices. Direct trains are available to Interlaken from the neighbouring countries of Germany, Austria and France.

By Car

Interlaken is just north of the A8, which runs southwest from Lucerne.

By Bus

The Postbus has connections between Interlaken and many other Swiss destinations.

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Sleep

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as well as Hien (12%), Sander (4%), arif_kool (4%)

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This is version 15. Last edited at 9:07 on May 14, 13 by Sander. 7 articles link to this page.

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