Visitors to the popular Jungfraujoch in the Bernese Oberland are to be offered even more attractions inside the mountain for the railway’s centenary in 2012.
The company which runs the railway going up to Europe’s highest station – 3,454 metres above sea level - announced on Thursday that it has been given permission by cantons Bern and Valais to excavate a 250 metre long tunnel offering a circuit from the Sphinx Terrace to the Ice Palace.
The idea is to “steer the streams of visitors and offer them a spectacle”, the company said on its website.
Two moving walkways will carry visitors up the steep parts. Three caves will be hollowed out to house shows of some kind, but the details of these have not yet been decided.
The project will cost SFr13.5 million ($14 million). Not to inconvenience the huge number of visitors in the summer months, work will take place only in the winter.
Dynamiting of the tunnel will start on November 1. The interior installations will be completed in the winter of 2011-2 and the aim is to open in April 2012.
The Jungfrau railway runs for nine kilometres through the Eiger and Mönch mountains. At the top there are viewing terraces, restaurants and the Ice Palace containing sculptures carved out of ice.
swissinfo.ch and agencies