The Wengernalp Railway, a Swiss Train Line to Paradise
Welcome to Switzerland, a land of natural wonders where the monumental Swiss Alps hide countless treasures. Among these gems lies the magical Jungfrau Region in the Berner Oberland Region close to Interlaken. The Jungfrau Region is most known for its breathtaking Swiss villages Lauterbrunnen, Grindelwald and Wengen. On top of that there are the majestic mountains of Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau towering like Monarch over this wonderful land. You might now think that the Swiss Alps are steep and hard to conquer. And they were. But the Swiss managed to build a cogwheel train with which you can visit all of the aforementioned attractions and destinations on one train line. Drumroll for the ingenious Wengernalp Railway (Wengernalpbahn).
What is the Wengernalp Railway (Wengernalpbahn)?
The Wengernalp Railway, established in 1893, is a narrow-gauge cogwheel railway connecting Grindelwald, Wengen, and Lauterbrunnen in the Swiss Alps. Originally steam-powered, it now operates with modern electric trains, offering panoramic views through its extensive tunnel network. It also brings you to Kleine Scheidegg, from where you can change to the Jungfrau Railway to access the world renowned Jungfrau mountain. Today, the Wengernalp Railway continues to enchant passengers with its rich history, remarkable engineering, and breathtaking alpine landscapes.
Route of the Wengernalp Railway
The Wengernalpbahn offers a remarkable railway route that connects the idyllic towns of Grindelwald, Wengen, and Lauterbrunnen. Whether starting from Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen, the journey takes you through breathtaking landscapes, showcasing the beauty of the Swiss Alps. The connecting destination at the foot of the Jungfrau mountain is called Kleine Scheidegg and it also serves as the gateway to the Jungfraujoch, which is accessible via the Jungfrau Railway.
The Wengernalpbahn operates year-round, however there is some downtime for maintenance in fall. As the train departs from Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg and from Grindelwald to Kleine Scheidegg, the downtime only affects one segment at the time.
The frequency of trains varies depending on the season, with more frequent services during peak tourist periods. During the summer months, the Wengernalpbahn offers increased train frequency to accommodate the influx of visitors eager to explore the Jungfrau mountain. In the winter season, the timetable adjusts to cater to skiers and snowboarders heading to the renowned slopes of Grindelwald and Wengen. It's important to check the official website or consult the local schedule for the most up-to-date information on train timings and any seasonal variations.
Tickets and Prices
The Wengernalp Railway is part of the Jungfrau Railway (Jungfraubahnen) and do not belong to the national railway company SBB (Schweizerische Bundesbahnen). For this reason, the Swiss Travel Pass and other SBB passes are only valid for the segment Lauterbrunnen to Wengen. For the rest of the Jungfrau network you have to buy seperate tickets (you get a discount with the Swiss Half Fare Card), or for better value, travel passes of the Jungfrau Railway. These will also allow you to visit other spectacular cogwheel trains, such as the Schynige Platte cogwheel train.
Fantastic Swiss villages along the Wengernalpbahn
Whilst many travelers are only interested in going up to the Jungfraujoch (Jungfrau mountain), we highly recommend you take your time and explore the Jungfrau Region with the Wengernalp Railway. You will have the opportunity to stop at the following stations/ Swiss villages.
Lauterbrunnen is a gateway to natural splendor. The magical village of Lauterbrunnen is nestled in the a valley with 72 waterfalls. As you arrive, you are immediately captivated by the symphony of cascading waterfalls. The air is filled with the refreshing mist, creating a magical atmosphere. Take a moment to explore the village and immerse yourself in the quintessential Swiss mountain life.
Grindelwald is an alpine wonderland. For those starting their journey from Grindelwald, the train ride unveils the picturesque village nestled in a valley beneath the towering peaks of the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. Known as the "Eiger village," Grindelwald offers an enchanting experience amidst nature's grandeur. Explore the village's charming streets, embark on exhilarating hikes, and witness the breathtaking beauty that surrounds you at every turn. Furthermore, Grindelwald also serves as a hub for various winter activities, ensuring year-round enjoyment of the Swiss Alps.
Wengen is a famous ski resort. The Wengernalp Railway carries you to the car-free village of Wengen. Perched on a sun-kissed terrace above the Lauterbrunnen Valley, Wengen offers a serene escape into alpine tranquility. The village is embraced by the majestic Swiss Alps, providing a stunning backdrop for outdoor adventures.
Continuing your breathtaking journey, the train arrives at Kleine Scheidegg, a mountain pass nestled at the foot of the iconic Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau peaks. Here, you are welcomed into a pristine snow-covered wonderland (in winter), offering a playground for winter sports enthusiasts. Ski down the slopes with exhilaration or indulge in a moment of tranquility while sipping on a cup of rich Swiss hot chocolate. As the seasons shift, Kleine Scheidegg transforms into a hiker's paradise.
Jungfraujoch - The Top of Europe
From Kleine Scheidegg, you can continue your adventure to Jungfraujoch, known as the "Top of Europe." Accessible via the Jungfrau Railway, this extraordinary train journey takes you to the highest railway station in Europe, situated at an elevation of 3,454 meters above sea level. Step out onto the Jungfraujoch platform and prepare to be amazed by the panoramic spectacle of snow-clad peaks, majestic glaciers, and untouched beauty as far as the eye can see. It is an experience that will leave an indelible mark on your soul.
The Wengernalpbahn offers an unforgettable journey through the heart of the Swiss Alps, allowing you to immerse yourself in the natural splendor of Jungfrau Region. Whether you start from Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen, each stop along the way reveals a new chapter in the tale of Switzerland's breathtaking beauty. From the charming village of Lauterbrunnen to the tranquil haven of Wengen and the alpine wonderland of Grindelwald, this scenic railway route leads to Kleine Scheidegg, where adventure awaits. And for those seeking the pinnacle of their journey, Jungfraujoch awaits at the "Top of Europe," offering a truly breathtaking experience.