On a trip to Italy a few years ago, my wife and I took a side trip to Interlaken, Switzerland. We had been there before but weren’t able to visit the Jungfraujoch. We had heard a lot about the train ride up into the rocky peaks and wanted to experience a trip to the top. It was a long way out of our way, but Switzerland is worth the time and expense. We set out to take the train to Interlaken and have another look around.
The train track that goes all the way up to the Jungfrau was blasted out of the solid rock of the Eiger and the Monch (Ogre and Monk) mountain peaks. Construction of the tunnel started in 1896 and was completed in 1912. A dozen years later, the “house above the clouds opened.”
We started at the train station at Kleine Scheidegg. The station sits right at the base of the Eiger, Monch, and Jungfrau. The first stop will be the Eigergletscher rail station, which is just before the tunnel that enters into the side of the Eiger. After leaving the Eigergletscher station, it’s a short distance to the tunnel opening. For nearly six miles, the train lumbers through the darkness until it arrives at the Jungfrau railway station at 11,332 feet elevation. At that point, there is an observation area, another building with a restaurant, and a gift shop to sell souvenirs.
The Wengernalpbahn railway runs from Lauterbrunnen to Grindelwald, via Wengen and Kleine Scheidegg. Once you arrive in Kleine Scheidegg, you will transfer to the Jungfraujoch railway.
A view at the train station of the rest of Kleine Scheidegg. In the background is the famous Eiger, Clint Eastwood filmed a movie here called the Eiger Sanction, with George Kennedy.
After leaving the station at Kleine Scheidegg, the ground is mostly free of snow (we visited in June).
The Eigergletscher rail station. The train stops here for a few minutes. The railway also uses this stop as a workshop for train maintenance. My wife’s reflection in the window.
Our first look out the window of the restaurant. The food was quite good. We were very pleased that the restaurant was of high quality. Since there are no other choices, they could have served mediocre food, and we wouldn’t have any alternative.
The altitude is over 11,000 feet here.
The view out the windows in the restaurant was spectacular, However, the window reflections didn’t allow for the quality photographs that I wanted. Better to go outside!
From the observation area above the buildings, you have a very good view of the whole area (We were told by our waiter that Jungfraujoch means “Young Woman Area.”
The railway station is inside the mountain, just under the lower building. An amazing feat of engineering.
My wife posing with the Swiss flag. It was very cold and she went inside soon after. I took a few more photos and headed for the warmth of the nearest building.
Tourists brave the very cold and windy weather to get a better look at the mountains below.
There is an ice cave to explore, with ice sculptures and strange passageways. The ice caves were a great addition to the experience.
We ended our visit to Jungfraujoch, tired and cold, but glad we went. The trip to the top is not cheap. We had a Rail Pass discount and even then it was about $325.00 for the two of us.
All-in-all, it was a great day. I would recommend the ride up to anyone who likes to see once-in-a-lifetime sights. Be sure to take a LOT of photographs. I didn’t get nearly enough. Maybe I need to visit again? You bet.
What To See & Do:
The journey to the top is as exciting as the arrival at the top. Switzerland is beautiful and every train ride I’ve ever been on has been a delight. This train trip is no exception. CLICK HERE for a price list and more information.
Where To Eat:
Plan to eat in the restaurant at the top. They have hot soup and a nice selection of entrees. You’ll be glad to warm yourself before going outside into the cold.
Where To Stay:
Check VRBO for apartment and vacation rentals. CLICK HERE to view available apartments and rental rates in Interlaken, Switzerland. Or check for other locations like Grindelwald or Murren. All excellent choices!
Steven Ward founded 10 Minute Travel in 2006. He wanted to create a website that would focus on interesting sights and attractions. The website has seen several changes over the years. Steve is a retired Coast Guard Officer who has worked in the IT field after leaving the service. He has been all over Alaska on ships, sailed through the Panama Canal, stopped in Jamaica and Aruba, and gone on a handful of trips to Europe and Asia. Taiwan, Japan, and Thailand were some of the more recent trips overseas. If there is a vaccine for the travel bug, he will refuse it. 🙂