In 2020, millions of tourists will be able to travel on Switzerland’s GoldenPass Express, enjoying the extraordinary scenery on the borders of the Vaud and Bernese Alps from the comfort of new cutting-edge trains by Pininfarina.
The GoldenPass Express goes into service on 13 December 2020. It connects three of Switzerland’s main tourist destinations: Montreux, Gstaad and Interlaken, boosting the attractiveness of these resorts.
The train service was made possible through a revolutionary variable gauge bogie that makes it possible to switch from a narrow gauge (1m from Montreux to Zweisimmen) to standard gauge (1.43m from Zweisimmen to Interlaken), in a couple of seconds. The result of this is travellers will no longer need to change trains at Zweisimmen station. With the GoldenPass Express, MOB is expecting to accommodate an extra 1.5 million passengers a year.
“With the GoldenPass Express, we faced a spectacular technological challenge, shifting from narrow gauge to standard gauge. We also wanted this tourist train to be beautiful and elegant. That’s why we assigned the task to Pininfarina, one of the most prestigious design companies in the world”. – Georges Oberson, General Manager of MOB.
During the design process, Pininfarina integrated some revolutionary features customers will appreciate. New safety standards mean the mechanicals are required to be at the head of the train. The Pininfarina designers worked around this, producing a large window that gives passengers a frontal view on their journey. Another interesting feature of this window is that it’s perfect for taking photos through as it offers almost no reflections.
Alfredo Palma, Pininfarina’s Design Project Manager said; “Having to deal with new safety standards has been a stimulus to our creativity, rather than a limitation. In every project, whether it is automotive, transportation or architecture, our goal is to create beautiful objects while overcoming technical or regulatory obstacles. With the MOB we have created a train that offers an immersive travel experience, in total symbiosis with the beauty of the surrounding nature”.
The Pininfarina design team are no strangers when it comes to train design. In 1993 they designed the Cristal Panoramic Express for MOB and over the years they’ve designed carriages for Swiss, Danish and Norwegian railways and the light rail system in service in Lille. In addition, Pininfarina designed the exterior livery and the interior of the new, cutting edge Eurostar e320, which carries over 900 passengers at speeds up to 320 kph.