20 Highest Railways in Europe

Europe is a popular destination for the beautiful train journey and scenic routes. Usually, in Europe, the train runs through valleys, beautiful villages, towns, and bridges with impressive architecture. Utmost trains powered by electricity and installed everywhere possible. The Alps, the high mountain range where Europe’s many highest railways chain found. Switzerland, France and Spain have many railways in high elevation sites also famous train routes for tourists.

Jungfrau is the highest railway in Europe, found in the Alps mountain range. Some part of the track installed by the rack, and a 1,000 mm gauge track. Jungfraujoch is the highest point and station of Jungfrau railway, situated in the Bernese Oberland region.

Gornergrat is the second highest railway and located at the last stop of the Gornergrat. The rack railway takes visitors to the summit of the Gornergrat (a rocky ridge in the Pennine Alps). The Gornergrat railway is the highest open-air railway in Europe which built with a rack railway. At 2,650 meter, the Zugspitze is the third highest, located immediately below the summit of the Zugspitze peak.

All the highest railways listed below are above 1800 metres above sea level. The Pilatus railway is the steepest rack railway in the world, the train runs from Alpnachstad to the terminus, about a 4.6 km route.

RankRailwayHighest PointCountryHighest Point
1JungfrauJungfraujochSwitzerland3,454 m
(11,332 ft)
2GornergratGornergratSwitzerland3,090 m
(10,138 ft)
3ZugspitzeSchneefernerhausGermany2,650 m
(8,694 ft)
4Mont BlancNid d'AigleFrance2,372 m
(7,782 ft)
5BerninaOspizio BerninaSwitzerland, Italy2,253 m
(7,392 ft)
6Brienz–RothornBrienz–RothornSwitzerland2,244 m
(7,362 ft)
7RiffelalpRiffelalp ResortSwitzerland2,222 m
(7,290 ft)
8Furka Cogwheel SteamFurka railway stationSwitzerland2,163 m
(7,096 ft)
9PilatusPilatusSwitzerland2,073 m
(6,801 ft)
10Lauterbrunnen–Kleine Scheidegg–GrindelwaldKleine ScheideggSwitzerland2,061 m
(6,762 ft)
11Andermatt–ChurOberalp PassSwitzerland2,043 m
(6,703 ft)
12Montreux–Glion–Rochers-de-NayeRochers de NayeSwitzerland1,968 m
(6,457 ft)
13Schynige PlatteSchynige PlatteSwitzerland1,967 m
(6,453 ft)
14Vall de NuriaNuriaSpain1,964 m
(6,444 ft)
15ArtousteStation d'ArtousteFrance1,940 m
(6,365 ft)
16MontenversHotel du MontenversFrance1,913 m
(6,276 ft)
17Les Montuires–EmossonLes MontuiresSwitzerland1,822 m
(5,978 ft)
18AlbulaAlbula TunnelSwitzerland1,820 m
(5,971 ft)
19Cercedilla-CotosCotos Railway stationSpain1,818 m
(5,965 ft)
20Bex–Villars–BretayeBretayeSwitzerland1,806 m
(5,925 ft)

Facts to Know

  • The Alps is an extensive and large mountain range also home to hundreds of railways.
  • Over 100 railways operate above 1,000 metres. only two railway, Jungfrau and Gornergrat are above 3,000 metres.
  • Some railway routes were built underground due to mountainous landscapes makes difficult to build the tracks.
  • Snowdrift and seasonal snow line make it difficult to run the train, usually occurs at 2,000 to 3,000 metres in the Alps.
  • Vall de Nuria railway is the highest railway in the Pyrenees mountain range, outside the Alps.
  • Many and even the top 11 of the highest railways located in Switzerland.