The Goldenpass Express, panoramic train of the MOB railway, becomes reality in Switzerland
Turin, September 4th, 2019 – As of next year, 4 million tourists a year will be able to enjoy the views on the borders of the Vaud and Bernese Alps from on board the new trains redesigned by Pininfarina for the MOB (Montreux Oberland Bernese) railway company.
The Goldenpass Express, which will go into service on 13 December 2020, is a dream come true. It will connect three of Switzerland's main tourist destinations: Montreux, Gstaad and Interlaken, boosting the attractiveness of these resorts. A challenge made possible by a revolutionary variable gauge bogie that will make it possible to switch in just a few seconds from narrow gauge (1m from Montreux to Zweisimmen) to standard (1.43m from Zweisimmen to Interlaken), meaning that travellers won't have to change trains at Zweisimmen station. With the Goldenpass Express, the future flagship of its fleet, MOB expects to accommodate an extra 1.5 million passengers a year.
"With the Goldenpass Express we are facing 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", says Georges Oberson, General Manager of MOB.
In redesigning the train, Pininfarina has integrated some aspects that customers will appreciate. Despite the change in the position of the mechanicals, at the head of the train, imposed by the new safety standards, the Pininfarina proposal makes it possible to maintain a large window that provides travellers with a frontal view of great impact. The window features of the future trains also make it possible to avoid any reflection or reverberation on photos taken by passengers.
"Having to deal with new safety standards”, explains Alfredo Palma, Pininfarina’s Design Project Manager, "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".
For MOB in 1993, Pininfarina had already designed the Cristal Panoramic Express, one of the Swiss company’s most successful trains and one of the most photographed by tourists. Pininfarina has extensive experience in the railway sector, having designed the interiors and exteriors of high-speed trains in Italy (the famous ETR 500, the first Italian project for a highspeed train, which appeared in 1985) and Spain. Over the years Pininfarina has also designed carriages for the Swiss, Danish and Norwegian railways, the light rail system in service in Lille, and trams currently in operation in various cities in Italy, Greece, Sweden and Turkey. For Eurostar, Pininfarina designed the exterior livery and the interior of the new, cutting edge e320, which carries over 900 passengers at a speed of 320 kph.
An icon of Italian design since 1930, Pininfarina has evolved from an artisan company to an international service group. Listed on the stock exchange and a part of the Mahindra galaxy since 2016, the Pininfarina Group continues to set the standard for automotive and industrial design, remaining deeply committed to designing unique customer experiences that are able to unite the physical and digital worlds aesthetically and technologically. Headquartered in Cambiano, Turin, the Group employs about 700 people in its offices in Italy, Germany, China and the United States. Pininfarina’s core business is design and engineering services, where it can leverage its undisputed reputation as an automotive designer, its excellent technical know-how and its top quality expertise in industrial engineering services, such as custom car manufacturing and aerodynamics. The Pininfarina Group today also represents one of the most prestigious brands in Industrial Design, Transportation, Architecture and Interiors with hundreds of projects and dozens of awards to its credit.
The Montreux Oberland Bernois (MOB) railway company is a key player in Switzerland’s tourism and public transport sectors. Its panoramic and Belle Epoque trains are a benchmark in railway circles. The very popular journey between Montreux and Zweisimmen sums up the essence of Switzerland: its cities, lakes, mountains and countryside. Every year, the MOB railway welcomes visitors from all over the world with the number of passengers from Asia growing in spectacular fashion.
HEAD OF COMMUNICATIONS, PININFARINA S.p.A.