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Overcoming opposition Controversial Jungfrau railway project gets greenlight

Asians tourists and a train by the Jungfrau railway in the Bernese Alps, Switzerland.

The ‘V-Bahn’ project will shorten the total journey time from Grindelwald Grund station to Europe’s highest railway station at 3,454 metres, on the Jungfrau mountain, by 45 minutes.

(Keystone)

The Federal Office of Transport has approved a CHF400 million ($405 million) mountain railway project that will carry tourists faster up to the Jungfraujoch in the Bernese Alps. The project has been modified to appease local opponents who had raised environmental and aesthetic concerns.

At the heart of the controversial plan is a V-shaped cable car route that would allow more tourists to swiftly reach the Eiger Glacier station from where they can take the mountain railways to the Jungfraujoch “Top of Europe” tourist station.

Local authorities and residents of the Bernese Alps feared the "Eiger express" line, which would start from the village of Grindelwald, would disfigure the landscape. Seventeen objections were made but advocates gave up the fight in February accepting in exchange a donation for a good cause.

+ Upgrade or bust: does mountain development benefit all?

The Federal Office of Transport introduced measures and requirements to allay these concerns. The gondola will have shorter masts than originally planned and the colour scheme of the cabins will be more discrete to blend in with the landscape.

SDA-ATS/ds

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