Ride the revolutionary GoldenPass Express

Imagine this: It’s morning. You’re on “top of the world”, inhaling crisp Alpine air atop the Jungfrau, one of Switzerland’s most iconic mountains, overlooking one of Europe’s biggest glaciers. By afternoon, you’re sipping a chilled glass of Chasselas from the UNESCO-listed Lavaux vineyards at a restaurant along the shores of Lake Geneva in Montreux, admiring the swaying palms and exotic flowers along the promenade as you contemplate jumping into the glimmering lake for added refreshment.   

After 150 years, this is no longer just a dream – it’s a real possibility, thanks to the new GoldenPass Express. The GoldenPass Express (GPX) is the newest offer from Montreux-Oberland-Bernois Railway (MOB). Unlike the other trains that travel on the GoldenPass Line, such as the GoldenPass Panoramic and Belle Époque trains, which offer fun chocolate- and cheese-themed rides, this one directly connects Interlaken and Montreux in just over three hours. There is no longer a need to change trains at Zweisimmen, thanks to its revolutionary technology, which allows the GPX to switch from standard to narrow gauge, and from 15,000- to 900-volt power – all while moving. (These differences are what kept MOB from realizing its centuries-old dream of connecting these two diverse touristic hubs.) This historic moment in rail will, unfortunately, be lost on most passengers, because they’ll be too busy sipping champagne and marveling at scenery to notice. 

On the outside, the high-tech train gives off a classic aura its midnight blue hue is a nod to the original Orient Express with a hint of humor (the “Shania Train” car is named after the train’s godmother, Shania Twain). The best part about the GPX is inside its (remarkably affordable) nine-seat Prestige Class car. This carriage boasts leather chairs by Pininfarina, famous for its hand in designing Ferraris, that can recline, rotate to face the direction of travel (or conversation), and heat up at the touch of a button. 

Raised 40cm (or 15.7 inches) above the other classes, the Prestige Class seats and panoramic windows give you front-row access to some of the best of Switzerland: from Interlaken’s lakes Thun and Brienz, you’ll travel through the Bernese Alps stopping at the Gstaad, frequented by celebrities and royals, Chateaux d’Oeux, the Alpine capital of hot-air ballooning, and Vaud Riviera’s Montreux, renowned for its jazz festival and warm micro-climate, among other charming destinations. 

The GoldenPass Line, one of the oldest in Switzerland, has always been secondary to the other great panoramic routes in Switzerland, such as the Glacier Express, dubbed the slowest express train in the world, and the Bernina Express. A big reason for this has been the hassle of changing trains for travelers. When you have luggage and are in a foreign place, it’s a pain to get off the train and change tracks mid-journey. 

MOB spent 15 years researching and raising $95 million US to find a way to overcome this, and against all odds, it did – just for you. 

Experience comfort, elegance, and romance worthy of the Orient Express as you journey between Montreux and Zweisimmen on the Belle Époque carriages.
Experience comfort, elegance, and romance worthy of the Orient Express as you journey between Montreux and Zweisimmen on the Belle Époque carriages. © Antoine Vitek / Culturez-vous

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