Enjoy the next installment of our Scenic Trains of Europe blog series covering some of Europe’s finest scenic trains. Over the course of the next several months the CEOs of these train services will share an insider’s perspective of how their service began, and also give you birds-eye views of some of the stunning vistas you can see when you travel on their trains.
At the end of each post, we’ll ask a trivia question and you’ll have 1-week to answer on Rail Europe’s Facebook page. From all correct answers, one winner will be selected to receive a complimentary iPod Touch, an approximate retail value of $229.
GoldenPass MOB Line With CEO Georges Oberson
An undeniable star of international renown, the one hundred year-old GoldenPass MOB line is the jewel in Switzerland’s tourism crown. Reservations for the GoldenPass and Chocolate Train can be made with Rail Europe.
How did your railway get started?
GoldenPass Panoramic: the world’s first panoramic train traveled between Montreux and Zweisimmen. Today, it is still the only line in Switzerland to boast VIP seats at the front of the train with the same exceptional views as the driver himself. This modern train provides a fantastic travel experience, in perfect harmony with the surrounding landscape.
GoldenPass Classic: in 1931 the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons Lits de Paris introduced the Golden Mountain Pullman Express, a luxury train in the style of the Orient Express. It was cancelled a few years later because of the world economic crisis. Since 2005, the GoldenPass Classic has been giving this legendary line a new lease on life with its Belle Epoque carriages and a wine coach where passengers can taste delicious wines from the Swiss vineyards.
Chocolate train: created by GoldenPass in association with Cailler-Nestlé, the Chocolate Train is an introduction to typical Swiss landscapes and products. Passengers travel exclusively in 1st class in genuine Belle Epoque Pullman coaches dating from 1915 or in the line’s modern panoramic coaches. Leaving the banks of Lake Geneva, the train passes through vineyards and pastures before reaching the picturesque medieval village of Gruyères and Broc, with its famous chocolate manufacturer. After this journey, passengers know everything about making Gruyère cheese and all about the long tradition of Swiss chocolate-makers.
Can you provide us with a description of your scenic train route?
Departing from Montreux, the nation’s jazz capital, the track twists up through vineyards revealing a little more of Lake Geneva’s splendor at every turn. Passing through the Jaman tunnel, the train then leaves the Swiss Riviera heading for Gruyère and its green pastures. The milk for the most famous of all Swiss cheeses comes from the cows grazing there.
In Montbovon the line begins its winding journey up the Saane Valley to the pretty village of Château-d’Oex, capital of hot air ballooning, and then on to the high-society resort of Gstaad, a must for every international star. The highest point of the line is Saanenmöser after which the descent towards Zweisimmen begins. From this station passengers continue with a connecting train towards the mountain resort of Lenk or remain on the GoldenPass line, heading for Interlaken and then Lucerne.
Are there any special tips you can provide travelers, in order to have the best experience?
The Eurail Pass and the SwissPass can be used on the GoldenPass MOB line and provide significant reductions on the rack and pinion lines of Les Rochers-de-Naye and Les Pléiades. While only required for VIP seats and the Chocolate Train, reservations are strongly recommended for any GoldenPass Panoramic and GoldenPass Classic journeys.
Glacier 3000, the Château de Chillon, the Lavaux vineyard listed as a UNESCO world heritage site… these are a small sample of the many beautiful sights to discover on our trains.
Which Swiss train attracts passengers with a sweet tooth?