1893 vision & Planning
On 20 December 1893, industrialist Adolf Guyer-Zeller applied for a concession to build a rack railway from the station of the Wengernalp Railway (WAB) on Kleine Scheidegg to the summit of the Jungfrau, via a long tunnel through the Eiger and Mönch mountain. The Federal Council granted the concession on 21 December 1894. From the very start, Guyer-Zeller planned for the Jungfrau Railway to be driven by electricity and thus obtained the water rights to the two Lütschinen rivers. On 10 June 1896, he was granted the concession to build a power plant.
1896 Construction begins
On 27 July 1896, ground was broken for the construction of the Jungfrau Railway. Despite the connection to the Wengernalp Railway, other systems were chosen: a different gauge (1000 mm instead of 800 mm), another rack rail system (Strub instead of Riggenbach) and three-phase current instead of alternating current as this promised increased power and reliability. Construction progress was slow and laborious. On 19 September 1898, the section in open terrain from Kleine Scheidegg station to the Eigergletscher (Eiger Glacier) station at the foot of the Eiger was put into service. The official opening of the Eigergletscher station was marked by a religious service held by Gottfried Strasser, the "“Glacier Priest”" from Grindelwald. Guyer-Zeller’s intention was to reach one additional station each year and open it as quickly as possible.
1899 One new station each year
On 7 March 1899, ground was broken at the Station Rostock, which was operated only temporarily. The station facilities are now largely dismantled. Today, only a door that leads into the open there serves as a reminder of this station. On 7 March 1899, workers at the head of the tunnel reached the intended site of the Eigerwand station. Adolf Guyer-Zeller, the driving force behind the Jungfrau Railway, died on 3 April of the same year. Guyer-Zeller’s sons continued the construction, but it was 28 June 1903 before the Eigerwand station in the middle of the Eiger North Wall (2865 m above sea level) could be officially opened. Passengers were subsequently able to enjoy a view towards Grindelwald from the terrace. Two years later, on 25 July 1905, it was possible to open the section to the stop at Eismeer, some 3,160 metres above sea level, providing guests with a stunning glacier view. The railway's temporary tourist centre was also housed in the Eismeer station . The original plans were changed as a result of finances becoming stretched as well as due to Adolf Guyer-Zeller’s death. Instead of planning a station below the Mönchsjoch and continuing the railway to the Jungfrau summit, the Jungfraujoch became the end of the line.
1912 Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe
The history of the construction of the Jungfrau Railway is marked by blasting accidents, strikes and financial problems. It was not until 1912 that the section to the Jungfraujoch, 3,454 metres above sea level, was completed – nine years later than originally planned. It is noteworthy that the Eismeer to Jungfraujoch section first operated as an adhesion railway and then as a cogwheel system in the last section before the Jungfraujoch. Special locomotives for use with adhesion and cogwheel systems had to be acquired. It was not until 1951 that the entire railway was converted to a cogwheel system, thus simplifying operations.