10 December, 2006

Train to Jungfraujoch - Switzerland

Needless to say, our delayed start from Interlaken further delayed our trip to Jungfraujoch. Trains leave from the Grindelwald station to the "top of Europe" at regular intervals and the intervals are sufficiently large :(. We arrived at Grindelwald a little later than we had planned and we missed the connecting train to Jungfrau. We spent a few minutes more than an hour at the station waiting for the next train to the mountain.

M was a little unhappy with the high ticket price to the top of Europe. But as the train started the ascent, he thanked me a few times :) for convincing him to ride the train. The view was breath-taking. Wish my parents, sis and grandmom were with me :(. Climbing the highest mountain in Europe seated in a comfortable train was something that I had never imagined. Wish Indian Government too makes similar arrangements that would enable us to attract more tourists to our beautiful country. This is a dream, which I am sure will never be fulfilled :(.

The author of Muirhead's Switzerland published this description in 1923:

The Jungfrau Railway, the highest railway in Europe and one of the most interesting of all mountain lines, was constructed in 1896-1912 from the designs of Adolph Guyer-Zeller of Zürich. It attains a height of over 11,000 ft., thus bringing the most unathletic into the upper regions of the expert climber. Most of the line is on the rack system (Strub's patent), with overhead trolleys (steepest gradient 1:4), but there is also a short section beyond Eismeer on the ordinary or 'adhesive' system (gradient 1:14). The power is generated in works near Lauterbrunnen and Burglauenen, whence it is transmitted by high-tension lines. The gauge is 3 ft. 4 in. The first section of the line is in the open air, but beyond Eigergletscher it runs through a great tunnel (4-3/4 m. long, 10 ft. high, and 10 ft. wide), piercing the limestone and gneiss rock of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. From the Jungfraujoch the intention was to carry up the line for 2000 ft. more, leaving the summit to be attained by an elevator 242 ft. high, but there does not seem any immediate prospect of completion of this scheme. Telescopes are provided at the stations for the use of visitors.

The trip can hardly be recommended except when the weather is such as to make a clear view from the top practically certain. The transit of the long tunnel (fully 1/2 hr.) is rather wearisome.

Like a friend once rightly said "a picture speaks volumes. A single picture can express more than 1000 words do". So I shall let the pictures speak for themselves of the most beautiful mountains I've ever been to...


Vinutha and Lingaraj said...

Lovelyyyy!! but the mountian doesn't look completly snow clad... does it get anytime?

Casey said...

You've to wait for my next post with pictures that were actually taken on top of the mountain jungfraujoch... it was completely covered in snow... :)

these were the pictures taken enroute to Jungfraujoch in the peak of summer.... in fact ice never melts completely here...

ManDeep said...
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