Swiss Holiday 2015

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"We will finish our holiday on a high" was Steve’s instruction for the last full day. And how – 11,400 ft up the Jungfrau. 460117 delivered us from Fribourg to Bern, where we boarded DB ICE unit 401081 working an internal SBB service from there to Interlaken. From there we boarded Berner Oberland-Bahnen unit 304 for the run to Lauterbrunnen.

Stepping aside from our main task for an hour or so, we diverted to take in the Bergbahn Lauterbrunnen Murren. In order to reach this line we had to ascend a bit of a mountainside by cable car. There used to be a funicular railway connecting the two, but the track kept sliding out of true, due mostly to earth movements, so the powers that be gave up on it and installed the cable lift instead. Running from the top station to Murren, we had time to take in the scenery before returning by the same routes to Lauterbrunnen.

Continuing thence to Wengen, using the Wengernalpbahn (unit 116), we changed there (picking up our Jungfrau tickets at the time) onto unit 147 for the next rack run up to Kleine Scheidegg (or Kleine Fried Egg as I recall our school party calling it in 1973!). And now for the big ascent – Jungfraubahn Stadler unit 214 took us to the top, to Jungfraujoch, which station is inside the mountain. The air was pretty thin even indoors so venturing up the ‘stairway to heaven’ to the viewing platform had to be done in two or three chunks, stopping for a ‘blow up’ en route. Outside cloud enveloped the mountain and an icy chill wind blew across. Sliding across the ice with only a rope handrail to stop one falling off the mountain was not everyone’s idea of fun, but it had to be done to record the achievement of getting there. Once everyone had seen all they wanted to at the top, we joined the queue for the descent back to Kleine Scheidegg where we had time to enjoy a high level ice cream before boarding Wengernalpbahn unit 142 for the ride to Grindelwald – running right under the north wall of the Eiger.

Making our way then via Wilderswil to Spiez and back to Bern, we reflected on a thoroughly wonderful end to the holiday as we enjoyed our last night dinner back at the Rock Garden Restaurant under Bern station. Returning to Fribourg we sat outside for a last night beer. As we were chatting we had another thunderstorm. It only occurred to us after a while that we were sitting on metal chairs under a metal canopy at the hotel – probably not the best place to be with the lightning flashing around!

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BLM 21 Muumlrren 13Jun15 Richard Morris
  Bergbahn Lauterbrunnen-Mürren 21 (built 1967) at Mürren. Photograph taken at 10:24 on Saturday 13th June. Richard Morris

WAB 108 Wengen 13Jun15 Simon Reeve
  Wengernalpbahn 108 arriving at Wengen with train R344 (11:01 from Kleine Scheidegg to Lauterbrunnen). Photograph taken at 12:00 on Saturday 13th June. Simon Reeve

WAB 131 Wengen 13Jun15 Richard Morris
  Wengernalpbahn 131 (built 1988) at Wengen. Photograph taken at 12:00 on Saturday 13th June. Richard Morris

JB 209 Jungfraujoch 13Jun15 Richard Morris
  Jungfraubahn 207 and 209 (built 1955 and modernised in the last 20 years) standing at Jugfraujoch station waiting to load passengers to return to Kleine Scheidegg at 14:00 on train R560. Photograph taken at 13:53 on Saturday 13th June. Richard Morris

Kleine Scheidegg
JB 216 Kleine Scheidegg 13Jun15 Malcolm Hammond
  JungfrauBahn 216 (Stadler/Bombardier built 2002) 216 approaching Kleine Scheidegg having descended from Jungfraujoch. Photograph taken at 15:10 on Saturday 13th June. Malcolm Hammond

last updated: 06/11/15