The Swiss Alps have inspired millions of people with their beauty throughout the years. Towering mountains, ice-covered peaks, valleys, lush green forests – all of these things combine to make one of the most scenic areas in the world. They are Europe’s highest, and most famous, mountains.
Countless tours are available through the Alps, depending on what your activity level is. Some people prefer to hike to mountains on foot, while others would rather view it from the comfort of a seat. This particular railway is a very unique and thrilling way to view the Alps. While it technically has rails, it is not a train. It is more of a roller coaster – a scenic roller coaster ride through the Swiss Alps.
The railway tracks were originally built in 1926 to transport heavy construction supplies to the Gelmer Dam during its construction. However, the public use of the railway wasn’t open to the public until 2001.
Passengers get an open-air view of the gorgeous scenery of the Alps as the cars climb up and down the mountains. It’s actually a mix of a rollercoaster and an alpine slide in different sections. Locally, it is considered a “funicular railway.”
The track is 3,373-feet long and takes about ten minutes to ride. This video makes you almost feel like you’re on the ride yourself. You can hear the creaking of the rollercoaster and the occasional delightful scream as the roller coaster weaves, drops, and climbs its way along.
The railway route takes you through Grimsel Pass, a mountain pass in the Bernese Mountains in Switzerland. You get a stunning view of Lake Gelmer, a reservoir in Bernese Oberland, at the summit of the mountains. Its unique greenish hue stands out from the rest of the landscape.
Even though the scenery of the lush, green forests and the snow-topped peaks is gorgeous, this ride is not for the faint-hearted. At one point during the ride, you get a breathtaking view as you hang from the suspension bridge over the Handeck Gorge, over 200 feet in the air. By far, the most nerve-wracking moment of the ride, though, is the steep decline the railway makes – a 106% grade. It is the second steepest in all of Europe!
If a boring train ride isn’t your idea of enjoying the scenery of the Alps, shoot down the mountains on this funicular railway. It must definitely be the most epic and adventurous way to enjoy the Alps.