I love rail journeys and Switzerland has some of the most scenic in the world. This is a journey by train to the top of Europe.
Part One – Interlaken East Station to Kleine Scheidegg
Part 2 – Changing trains
On arrival here the next train was waiting on the opposite platform. Off we trotted on to the next leg. Efficiency of the Swiss transport system is second to none. This was another cog wheel train – it began its climb, feeling a little apprehensive as we would be taking the last stage of our journey to the amazing height of 3400m, I wondered how the train would continue its journey. Inside the train it explained how the route came about and the hard labour that was involved as well as the many men that lost their lives – an awesome engineering feat.
The train chugged up the mountain through the tunnel excavated in the rock and stopped at a half way station for 5 minutes just enough time for a quick photo session and peer through a window in the north face of the Eiger. Another amazing engineering feat, cut into the mountainside were windows with an amazing view. The train then continued to the top.
Reaching the top
It’s an amazing journey of 9.3km with a maximum incline of 25%. Once we reached the top it’s hard to comprehend how they built this railway track and station on top of the mountain. There is all sorts here, restaurants, shopping, museum and a ice palace. It even has its own fire service too! The Sphinx is the highlight, a lift takes you to the highest point where the weather station is located – views are unbelievable.
We spent approximately two hours wandering around and taking in the beautiful views with the added bonus of a great day. We saw the more experienced walkers climbing even higher to another peak in the brilliant sunshine.
Our return down was just as efficient and once we arrived at Kleine Scheidegg again we decided to go down the other side of the valley towards Wengen and Lauterbrunnen for a different perspective. Eventually we ended back at our initial stop Interlaken East.
Logistics for planning a Swiss train journey to the Top of Europe
Swiss trains run like clockwork – the trip was a whole day out but worthwhile. We managed to get a half price deal but do look out for discounts as the trip is not a cheap one – then again Swiss transport can be costly. Switzerland has many mountain railways and I have been lucky enough to experience a few of them, this one stands out from the others. My next favourite is Pilatus – do have a look at this journey, it is also a cog wheel train up and an option to descend by cable car.
Post written by Claire Nuttall.
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