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A TRAIN RIDE TO HEAVEN

Interlaken, Switzerland: When man first climbed the 11,313' Jungfraujoch I'm sure he was tickled pink. But can you imagine the super-human effort and engineering genius that put the first electric train on the mountain's summit a century later? This is not your average up-one-side-down-the-other mountain, you see. It is in the alps, an obstacle course of rocky crags and sheer walls burdened with umpteen feet of snow the year round. Adolf Guyer was the man with a dream. It was he who decided the trains must be electric to give tourists a comfortable, smokeless journey.

Resort communities developed on the Jungfrau's lower slopes in the nineteenth century did a fine trade, with fleets of horse-drawn coaches carrying wealthy vacationers from Interlaken at the mountain's base. Over much opposition from resort owners, and grudging terrain, a cogwheel railway was built to the 6,760' level at Kleine Scheidegg by 1898. At the time it was considered an engineering marvel. Europeans flocked here just to ride the 'train into the sky.' Then in 1912, after sixteen years of construction, the final 5.8 miles of tracks were installed, and they terminate in an underground station at the top of the Jungfraujoch.