Accessing the fabulous Bernese-Oberland by train is easily done from Basel, thanks to direct trains to the gateway station of Interlaken Ost.
Kleine Scheidegg is where connections are available into the trains which travel up to Europe's highest station at Jungfraujoch.
It's also where connections can be made between the trains operated by WAB, which connect Grindelwald with Lauterbrunnen.
So if you want to take the gorgeous round trip from Basel, with or without the particularly expensive ascent to Jungfraujoch, is is Kleine Scheidegg that you'll be heading to.
Typical of most multi-train routes in Switzerland, making the connections required to make this journey couldn't be simpler.
There are 1 or 2 direct trains per hour between Basel and Interlaken Ost and 2 x trains per hour on both the Interlaken> Grindelwald and Grindelwald > Kleine Scheidegg routes.
Thoug the SBB journey planner will direct you to travel via Lauterbrunnen and not Grindelwald when making this journey.
However, tickets will be valid whether your travel on from Interlaken Ost via Grindelwald OR Lauterbrunnen and the route via Grindelwald tends to be quieter hence it being our preference.
Though the best option is to travel to Kleine Scheidegg via Grindelwald and return via Lauterbrunnen.
1 or 2 x connections per hour
Change trains in: Interlaken and Grindelwald OR Lauterbrunnen
Book early and save: Yes
If you book 'Supersaver tickets' - see the SBB guide for advice on how to book these tickets.
Online bookings open: up to 60 days ahead of the travel date
You may need to search through the departures to find these 'Supersaver' tickets using the ‘earlier’ and ‘later’ button. so try and be flexible with your departure and arrival times.
'Supersaver Tickets' are placed on sale for the end-to-end journey from Basel to Kleine Scheidegg; though only the SBB train between Basel and Interlaken will be discounted.
Using rail passes on this route:
Saver Day Passes are worth considering for this journey, particularly if you also want to take the JB trains on from Kleine Scheidegg to Jungfraujoch.
Book a Saver Day Pass and it will include the SBB train between Basel and Interlaken and the BOB train on to Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen.
On arrival at Interlaken Ost station you can go into its ticket office amd claim a 25% discount on tickets for the trains between Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnenand Kleine Scheidegg/Jungfraujoch.
If you will be making a return day trip, it's also likely that Saver Day Passes will be cheaper than tickets, you also won't be tied to specific trains so will be free to return to Basel at a time which suits you.
Though they need to be booked at least a day ahead of your travel date, so won't be an option if you book tickets at the station on arrival in Switzerland.
They're also cheaper the further ahead that you book.
The same 25% discount for the section of the journey between Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen and Kleine Scheidegg or Jungfraujoch, is also available to users of Eurail and InterRail passes valid in Switzerland and users of Swiss Travel Passes.
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This is now route IC 61
The single deck IC trains are used for these journeys, but three late afternoon/evening departures are by ICE trains, which will have commenced their journeys in Germany.
Final Destination: Interlaken Ost
The timetabling of the trains from Basel to Interlaken doesn't follow a set pattern.
Trains depart from Basel at either 28 or 56 mins past each hour; in some hours there are departures at both these times.
The trains which depart Basel at 56 mins past each hour during the day have the optimum connections with the trains on from Interlaken Ost.
The train to Grindelwald is usually scheduled to depart nine minutes after the arrival from Basel.
So if you will be travelling on from Interlaken try to target the trains which leave Basel at 56 mins past the hour, particularly if you will be travelling with a ticket valid for the end-to-end journey.
Though if on arrival on in Interlaken, you'll need to buy a ticket for your onward connection, you won't have to purchase it against the clock, if you can take the trains which depart Basel at 28 mins past the hour.
Switzerland doesn't have any high speed lines on which trains travel at more than 250 km/h, but south of Olten the train will race at 200 km/h for around 25mins on a fast railway until shortly before arrival in Bern
The train will reverse direction at Bern and then south of Thun there are some fabulous views to be enjoyed over on the left.
... though these videos were taken from a train travelling in the opposite direction, but they showcase how fine the views can be on a sunny day...
Then for the final 15 mins of the journey, after departure from Spiez, the train descends down to travel right by the shore of the Thunersee.You need to be sat on the left in a backward facing seat to make the most of these views between Spiez and Interlaken; so because of the reversal at Bern, take a forward facing seat on the right hand side when boarding the train in Basel.
Final Destination: Grindelwald
At Interlaken Ost station the train heading to Grindelawld will be joined to another train heading to Lauterbrunnen for the first part of the journey.
So take care to join the right part of the train - on the newer BOB trains, the destinations are on the outside of the coaches.
Don't be overly concerned about this as the conductor will pass through the train to check tickets and they will tell you if you need to move coaches.
This is a delightful journey, particularly after the train has departed from Wilderswill - sit on the right (when facing the direction of travel) for the best of the views.
Final Destination: Kleine Scheidegg
From Interlaken Ost to Kleine Scheidegg:
You can make connections at either Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen stations when travelling by train between Interlaken Ost and Kleine Scheidegg stations.
Tickets will be valid on either route, though the SBB (Swiss national railways) journey planner will direct you via Laueterbrunnen, but we opted to travel via Grindelwald, hence its inclusion here.
Perhaps because the SBB journey planner suggests making the journey via Lauterbrunnen, the trains via Grindelwald can be quieter; and making the connection at Grindelwald can be less frantic.
Both of the routes via Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen are staggeringly beautiful, but if we were forced to choose, our pick would be the route via Grindelwald.
Though in good weather the best option is to travel up to Kleine Scheidegg via Grindelwald and then return via Lauterbrunnen.
On To Jungfraujoch:
On arrival at Kleine Scheidegg straightforward connections are available into JB trains onwards and upwards to Jungfraujoch, Europe's highest station.
Sitting on the left when joining the joining the train at Grindelwald station is recommended.
The best of the fabulous views on the ascent are on the right, but after departure from Grindelwald, the trains will reverse direction at the first station call at Grindelwald Grund.
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