Jungfrau visitor numbers reach new heights despite fewer skiers

Jungfrau visitor numbers reach new heights despite fewer skiers
Tourists posing for a picture with a Swiss flag during their trip at the Jungfraujoch - Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP
The highest railway station in Europe, the Jungfraujoch, saw visitor numbers peak in 2018, with more than 1 million people visiting the “Top of Europe” station in Switzerland.

According to figures from Jungfrau Railways, some 1,067,000 guests visited the Jungfraujoch station in 2018 – a 2.4% increase on last year.

This is the third time in the last four years that the million mark has been surpassed.

The railway operator said that many of the visitors came from Asia, and that it planned to develop its marketing strategy in this area in a bid to keep numbers growing.

Although the number of visitors to the Jungfraujoch station grew, the number of passengers using the railway solely to access ski slopes fell by 3.9%.

From the start of the skiing season to January 2nd, some 173,000 snow sport enthusiasts used the railway system.   

The railway operator said this was due to warm weather and a lack of snow.

Two skiing destinations in Grindelwald have had to use artificial snow-making systems to start the skiing season.

Last year, a controversial 400 million-franc (355 million Euros) project to offer visitors a quicker way up to the Jungfraujoch was approved by the Federal Office of Transport.

The project would cut travel times from the village of Grindelwald up to the Jungfraujoch railway station by 47 minutes.

Currently, visitors travelling to the station from the Grindelwald Grund railway station must first take the train to Kleine Scheidegg and then change for the Jungfraujoch service.

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The Jungfraujoch, known as the Top of Europe station, is located some 3454 metres above sea level.

Set amid stunning Alpine conditions, it is home to the highest post office in Europe and enjoys average temperatures of nearly -8 degress Celsius.

The first train ride to the station was in 1912.