2022-09-15 Jungfraujoch

Our final and ultimate trip in Switzerland
Jungfraujoch bahn map  -->  We took the Wengernalpbahn from Lauterbrunnen (far right bottom) to Kleine Scheidegg where we changed trains and went up all the way to the Jungrfraujoch with the Jungfraubahn P1010205  -->  Lauterbrunnen, very early in the morning. We knew the weather would deteriorate by noon so we made sure we were on the first train up the mountain P1010207  -->  My heart yearns for walking in these mountains P1010208  -->  Some of the older rolling stock of the Wengernalpbahn. The WAB is the logest continuous rack railway in the world, running over a distance of 19.1 kilometres from Lauterbrunnen over Kleine Scheidegg to Grindelwald. The locomotive is another He 2/2, very similar to the ones we found on the  Schynige Platte Bahn . I did not note the number but I think it is  member of the 1909 batch. Railcar no 104 dates from 1951.
P1010209  -->  No 121 dates from 1970 P1010211  --> P1010214  -->  He 2/2 no 31 or 32 from 1995, so a relatively recent addition to the the fleet, is mainly used for freight and shunting P1010212  -->  Our train comes down the mountain
P1010215  --> 2022-09-15 08.02.27  -->  and before long we were on our way up. 2022-09-15 08.10.03  -->  A view in the valley of Lauterbrunnen 2022-09-15 08.10.14  -->
P1010221  -->  Wengen P1010226  --> P1010229  -->  The Sphinx, our final destination Jungfraujoch  -->  The Sphinx is perched on a rock in the Jungfraujoch. A joch is a pass, a low between two mountains, in this case between the Mönch and the Jungrfrau
2022-09-15 08.35.00  --> P1010230  --> 2022-09-15 08.35.06  --> 2022-09-15 08.37.05  -->  Halfway: Kleine Scheidegg 2061 m altitude
P1010232  -->  Here the Wengernalpbahn connects to the Jungfraubahn. Is not possible for the WAB trains to pass over the Jungfrau section because the track gauge is different. WAB runs on 800 mm gauge and the JB on 1000 mm gauge. P1010240  -->  The station was opened in 1893. The line up the Jungfraujoch was completed in 1912 P1010237  -->  No 148 brought us up the Kleine Scheidegg and dates from 2017. P1010239  -->
Kleine Scheidegg  -->  The station of Kleine Scheidegg has several remarkable features.  1. As said the WAB runs on 800 mm gauge, both to Grindelwald and to Lauterbrunnen. The JB runs on 1000 mm and consequently Kleine Scheidegg is the highest station in Europe to sport different gauges.  2. As the JB-trains can not descend to depots in the valley because of the gauge difference the depot for the JB is located on Kleine Scheidegg, southwest of the main station building. This depot is the highest in Europe. The old depot is easily visible but a very modern depot is located underground (yellow rectangle).  3. Finally the WAB-trains are built to face the mountainside. So if they want to cross -over from the Lauterbrunnen section to the Grindelwald section they have to be turned. To that end a turning triangle is present north of the depot, partly built into the mountain side (blue arrow) 2022-09-15 08.59.08  -->  Here you can see the new underground depot below the red JB train 2022-09-15 08.59.14  --> 2022-09-15 09.00.13  -->
P1010245  -->  Soon after the departure from Kleine Scheidegg the train reaches the station Eigergletscher. From there the line does not see daylight again. 2022-09-15 09.19.47  -->  At the mid-mountain station Eismeer (Ice Sea) 2022-09-15 09.20.18  -->  Which offers a wonderful view on the Eiger glacier 2022-09-15 09.22.55  -->
2022-09-15 09.25.27  --> 2022-09-15 09.41.51  -->  The highest station in Europe!! I fulfilled a 50 year old dream! 2022-09-15 09.42.37  -->  Railcar BDhe 4/8 no 221 dates from 2016 Jungfraujoch-w  -->  The station on the Jungfraujoch itself (4) is a very uninteresting affair, but it gives access to a surprisingly large complex which is largely in the mountain. We took the lift (17) to the Sphinx (24)...
2022-09-15 09.44.07  -->  .. where we were treated with this breathtaking view over the Jungfraufirn towards the Altesch glacier 2022-09-15 09.45.42  -->  The Aletsch glacier with its two landmark middle moraines, stripes of debris which is included because three glaciers flow together into one. We are looking towards the Goms valley, in the background probably the Grosses Schinhorn on the Swiss-Italian border 2022-09-15 10.15.43  -->  First a view north, then south over the Altesch glacier and then north again. From the north the clouds are quickly closing in. The relatively good weather was not to last.  It was minus 2C with winds up to 60 km/h so it was tough to stay on the platform for long P1010271  -->  One last splendid view, the sun and the clouds giving a stunning constantly changing view.
2022-09-15 10.13.56  -->  Bad weather coming up 2022-09-15 10.22.07  --> P1010276  --> 2022-09-15 11.45.38  -->  One hour later the view was completely obscured. The wind rose and the temperature fell.
2022-09-15 13.14.08  -->  You need to have a head for heights... 2022-09-15 13.28.37  -->  In the building I found this model of the original trains fom 1912 2022-09-15 13.30.13  -->  One is still in existence and currently resides in the Vekehrshaus in Lucern 2022-09-15 13.38.58  -->  All too soon we were set for the trip down
2022-09-15 14.12.43  -->  We had to change trains at station Eigergletscher P1010306  --> P1010308  --> P1010312  -->  and of course at Kleine Scheidegg
2022-09-15 14.45.56  -->  And we went down to Lauterbrunnen. A wonderful trip. The weather would turn foul the next few days, giving snow in abundance and closing many mountain roads. By then we would be safely home.  This is the final album of our wonderful Switzerland trip