Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe is a classic journey, and is detailed in all the guidebooks. It starts from Interlaken. Journeying on the BOB to Lauterbrunnen and then on to the WAB to Kleine Scheidegg. However, as we were based in Grindelwald, for us the journey really began once we had reached Kleine Scheidegg via the WAB from Grund.
A Beh 4/8 in front of the Jungfraujoch
After the short climb to Eigergletscher, the Jungfraubahn trains, usually travelling in convoy, go into the tunnel that runs all the way to the Jungfraujoch. On the way up the trains stop twice.
Firstly at Eigerwand built into the notorious North Face of the Eiger. Here passengers, who have any sense, descend and take a look out through the windows at the views over Grindelwald, Tschuggen and Männlichen. Not only does this break the journey up and allow the down trains to pass, it also helps passengers to acclimatise to the altitude.
The second stop is at Eismeer, where the views are over the top of the Lower Grindelwald Glacier towards the Schreikhorn (which always makes me think of large green ogres).
Both stations have displays of leaflets where, at the time of our visit, you could pick up a copy of a map of the summit complex. This showed a lift at the left-hand end of the Jungfraujoch station that goes up to the Eistpalast and the Plateau. All the passengers on our train walked straight passed the lift towards the main complex. We didnʼt, and were suddenly on our own.
The journey down has little to recommend it; a long slow grind. Particularly if you are in a coach were the "infotainment" system is not working.
For those on the classic tour, things only improve marginally when you get the Kleine Scheidegg as the WAB to Grindelwald is another slow grind, but at least there is plenty to look at.
For tourists returning to Interlaken, transferring to the BOB must come as a tremendous relief. At last, a train that travels at more than walking pace.