A Swiss rack railway journey

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Dick H

New Member
The Schynige Platte Bahn (SPB) is a rack railway in the Bernese
Oberland area of Switzerland. While the Schynige Platte at 6450
feet is is a small mountain compared to its giant neighbors all
above 13,000 feet, it has some of the most spectacular views
in Switzerland.
The Riggenbach type rack railway is 4-1/2 miles long and gains
4659 feet elevation. The track gauge is 800mm and it is powered
by 1500 volts DC. The trip from Wilderswil to Schynige Platte
takes about 50 minutes.

A train ready for boarding at Wilderswil

A pleasant conductor checks our tickets.

With our Swiss rail pass we need only a 1/2 fare ticket.

There is a passing track at Rotenegg.

About half way up we can see a descending train.

We finally reach the upper terminus.

The passengers quickly unload anxious to begin hiking or just
viewing the scenery.

One Swiss hiker studies the area map to choose his route.

A wonderful view looking down on a train.

The Lauterbrunnen valley is below us, surrounded by lofty peaks.

When I zoomed in to a plateau it was quite a surprise to see houses there.
Talk about getting away from it all!

Then when I zoomed farther down to the valley floor, I was lucky to catch
a 6-car train heading up the valley toward Lauterbrunnen.

Starting down the mountain.

Looking back we can see another train behind us.

Pigs on their way to market.

Along the way we made a stop for two local passengers.

At one point most of Lake Thun is spread out below us. Our
hotel, The Gloria, is in Beatenberg on the opposite slope.

Down at Wilderswil we see the pigs again.

Here they are unloaded from the train to a waiting truck.
G'day Dick,
Magnificent scenery.
Lucky pigs get to ride for free, but I presume that it would be a ONE way journey.
I also presume that it would be nice and COLD there right now.
Nice to see that even the smaller railways in Switzerland haven't abandoned local freight. I hear there are still local freight stations (i.e. serving a town or village) still in operation, thanks to the strong cantonal governments.

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