The Jungfraubahnen, or Jungfrau railways, are located in the Jungfrau region of Switzerland known as the Bernese Oberland. The area contains three major mountains, the Eiger (monster - aptly named as 64 people have died so far climbing its north face), Jungfrau (maiden), and the Mönch (monk).
The Jungfraubahnen are comprised of five different railways, Berner Oberland Bahn (BOB), Wengernalpbahn (WAB), Jungfrau Bahn (JB), Schynige Platte Bahn (SPB), and the Bergbahn Lauterbrunnen Mürren (BLM). One of these is a combination adhesion and rack railway, three are rack railways, and one is strictly adhesion.
Berner Oberland Bahn (BOB)
The BOB, the blue line on the map, is the adhesion and rack railway, metre gauge. Trains depart Interlaken Ost for Zweilütschinen where the train is split in two. The first section travels to Lauterbrunnen while the second part goes to Grindelwald. The procedure is reversed on the return as both sections are joined together upon reaching Zweilütschinen. The rack sections are located between Zweilütschinen / Lauterbrunnen and Zweilütschinen / Grindelwald.
The WAB, the green line on the map, is totally rack with a gauge of 800 millimetres (2 feet 7 1/2 inches). It shares the Lauterbrunnen station with the BOB, climbs up to Kleine Scheidegg where it shares a station with the JB, then descends down to Grund and up once more to Grindelwald where it shares a station with the BOB.
The JB, the red line on the map, lower terminus resides at Kleine Scheidegg. It is metre gauge (3 feet 3 3/8 inches) rack railway. 80 percent of the railway is laid within tunnels. The topmost station, Jungfraujoch, is located at an elevation of 11,300 feet inside the Mönch.
Schynige Platte Bahn (SPB)
The SPB, the light blue line on the map, shares the Wilderswil station with the BOB. Another totally rack railway of 800 millimetres (2 feet 7 1/2 inches) it reaches the alpine botanical garden and station at the summit.
Bergbahn Lauterbrunnen Mürren (BLM)
Finally, the BLM, the orange line on the map, is a metre gauge adhesion railway, which connects Grütschalp and Mürren isolated from the other railways. A cable car connects Grütschalp with Lauterbrunnen. The lower terminus of the cable car lies across the street from the Lauterbrunnen station occupied by the BOB and WAB lines.
Jungfrau Railway Holding AG consists of eight subsidiaries and is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange. The current structure was the result of a 1994 merger between Jungfraubahn and Wengernalpbahn and is the majority shareholder in Bergbahn Lauterbrunnen Mürren (BLM). As its main activity, the Group operates excursion railways and winter sport facilities in the Jungfrau region. The customer is offered an adventure in the mountains and on the train. The Jungfrau Railway Group has three defined business segments, Top of Europe, Winter Sports, and Mountain Experience. It has formed a strategic alliance with Berner Oberland Bahnen AG (BOB) in order to exploit synergies.
The core business of the BOB is the marketing of the two segments, Bernese Oberland Railways and Schynige Platte Railway. The latter operates in the tourist sector. It is of fundamental importance to work closely with the Jungfrau Railway Group. The combination of the two business segments in its core business, the Schynige Platte nature experience and the synergies from the alliance with Jungfraubahn Holding AG, are the success factors of the stock corporation.
The latest project is the procurement of new rolling stock for BOB. For a total of CHF77.7 million six new three-part multiple unit trains and three control cars have been ordered. The new vehicles will be put into operation in 2017.
Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe
The Top of Europe is the most profitable segment of the Group. The core of this business is the highest railway station in Europe at 3,454 metres above sea level, situated within the UNESCO World Heritage Site Swiss Alps Jungfrau-Aletsch. The trip with the Wengernalpbahn and the Jungfraubahn to the Jungfraujoch is also the strategic heart of the company. The previous attendance record was achieved in 2014 with 866,000 guests. This means that after the Jubilee year (833,000 guests) and 2013 (823,000 guests) for the third time in a row there were over 800,000 visitors to the Top of Europe.
The renewal of the WAB rolling stock is part of a recent project. In total, six three-section panoramic trains were ordered for CHF42 million. By autumn 2015, the commissioning of all panorama train on the route from Lauterbrunnen to Kleine Scheidegg will take place. Also as part of the project, new low-floor trains were ordered for the Jungfraubahn and are expected to ship in the first half of 2016. The investment amounts to around CHF32 million.