Jungfrau Railways - Description

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The Jungfrau Railway connects the Kleine Scheidegg station of the WAB with the highest station in Europe, the Jungfraujoch at an altitude of 3454m. Unlike the WAB, the builders preferred to use metre-gauge here as well as the JB's newly-developed Strub System rack and pinion design. From the start, the JB was a three-phase electric railway using a line voltage of 500 V/40 Hz in the early days; today the line voltage has been changed to 1125 V/50 Hz. The line runs from Kleine Scheidegg to the Eiger Glacier station (with the highest railway workshop in Switzerland) thence through a long tunnel leading up through the rocky mass of the Eiger and the Mönch , then through Eigerwand and Eismeer stations to terminate at the Jungfraujoch. The railway was opened in stages beginning in 1898. Because of financial difficulties during the construction of the great tunnel, the constructors required seven years to build the last section from Eismeer to Jungfraujoch; it was only in 1912 that the Jungfraujoch was reached! A few of the old locomotive-hauled trains are today in reserve and are used in times of heavy traffic loads. A "Rowan-train" from the JB is preserved in the Traffic Museum in Lucerne; today, normal traffic is handled by 14 railcars and matching trailers. The trains leave every hour from Kleine Scheidegg and, on the way up stop for five minutes in Eigerwand and in Eismeer so that the passengers can descend and appreciate the spectacular panorama. In winter, special sport trains are operated on 30 minute headways over the Kleine Scheidegg-Eiger Glacier route.
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Copyright © 1996 Stefan Dringenberg, 06-27-98