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Kantonbern Map

Let's face it. The Schynige Platte may have fine views, excellent walking and the Alpine Garden, but the real reason for going there is to ride the Schynige Platte Bhan.

Although in Britain we can claim to have started the Heritage Railway movement, we are by no means alone, and the SPB is one of several heritage lines in Switzerland.

A pure rack and pinion railway with a gauge of 800 mm, it opened in 1893. It was initially powered by steam locos, but was electrified in 1914. Four of the original electric engines (Nos 11-14) are still to be found on the line, along with some earlier (1909) ex-WAB locos.

It connects with the BOB at Wilderswil Station near Interlaken, and the contrast between the fast, powerful BOB trains and the SPB trains with their maximum speed of 12kph could not be greater. Suddenly you are reduced to walking place, which seems very odd on the flat length of track that runs parallel to the BOB out of Wilderswil. It is not long, however before the track swings to the left and starts climbing, and it all begins to make sense.

View in Google Earth

There are other ways of climbing a mountain at walking pace, but I know which I prefer.