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. “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. 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 high-speed train) and Spain. 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 e320, which carries over 900 passengers at a speed of 320 kph.