Have you ever had to run to catch a train? It’s the worst. But thanks to some revolutionary train tech, travelers in Switzerland will be able to stay comfortably in their seats over a three-and-a-half hour trek thanks to the train’s ability to “jump” tracks.
The new GoldenPass Express will carry passengers from Montreux, Gstaad, and Interlaken, some of the largest tourist destinations in Switzerland, according to CNN. The impressive technology allows the train to change the gauge — or the distance side-to-side between its rows of wheels — to fit on different sizes of tracks. The train is also capable of raising and lowering its height to match the different heights of platforms passengers need to use.
But the technology isn’t the only thing that makes this train so impressive. The train is said to be a comprehensive, panoramic experience that will take travelers past some of Europe’s most impressive views, following a trade route that has existed since the Middle Ages, CNN reported.
“In every project, whether it is automotive, transportation or architecture, our goal is to create beautiful objects while overcoming technical or regulatory obstacles,” Alfredo Palma, design project manager at Pininfarina, the legendary designer famous for Ferrari, told CNN. “With [Montreaux Oberland Bernois Railway], we have created a train that offers an immersive travel experience, in total symbiosis with the beauty of the surrounding nature.”
Not only does the GoldenPass Express aim to connect travelers to the beautiful natural landscape around them, but it’s also a convenient and environmentally friendly way to travel between tourist hot spots.
According to the Association of American Railroads, citing EPA data, railroads account for just 1.7% of transportation-related pollution in the U.S., while passenger cars produce roughly 3.5 billion tons of carbon pollution per year. Air travel is even worse. According to charted data in a BBC report, a domestic flight is responsible for nearly 1.5 times more carbon pollution per kilometer than driving a single-passenger car.
The idea for a train to “jump” tracks to cover this route has been around for centuries — dating back to 1873, as the railway company told CNN. It reported that the dream has been attempted many times but has always fallen short due to financial and technical obstacles.
But the new train is finally running as of December 2022. Starting in June, the train will run from Montreux to Interlaken and back four times — as opposed to the once-a-day trips it’s been making since December.
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