Switzerland Names New High-Tech Train After Shania Twain

A photo of Shania Twain stood next to Shania Train.
A photo of Shania Twain stood next to Shania Train.

You’re one of those guys who likes to shine his machine.

If you were a Swiss rail operator looking to name your latest and greatest train, what would you call it? Would you select some notable figure from history to honor, or would you go for something classic like Trainy McTrainFace? What about naming it in homage to Canadian music icon Shania Twain?

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Well, that’s exactly what Swiss agencies decided to do with one of the new trains that will run on its Montreux Oberland Bernois (MOB) line, which is the oldest electrified rail line in the world. From This Moment On, the line will run a new train that’s been named after singer-songwriter Shania Twain.

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The Brand New Golden Pass Express trains run from Montreux on Lake Geneva to Interlaken in central Switzerland. And to celebrate the launch of the new service, one of the locomotives has been badged Shania Train at an inauguration ceremony attended by Ms. Twain herself.

A photo of the new Swiss trains rolling through a field.
A photo of the new Swiss trains rolling through a field.

You make me take off my shoes before you let me get in.

Now, before you convince yourself that you’re just Waking up Dreaming, this isn’t some elaborate early April Fools joke. The Canadian singer has lived in Switzerland for more than a decade now, and owns a property near Lake Geneva, which falls on the Golden Pass Express train’s route. Clearly, the new high-tech trains are a sign that Life’s About to Get Good for the musician.

But, other than being named after the “Man! I Feel Like A Woman!” singer, what’s so special about the new trains? Well, while most trains we see here in America Don’t Impress Me Much, the ones you can ride in Switzerland are much cooler.

Firstly, the Golden Pass Express trains have to be able to run across two different track gauges. This means that the axles on each carriage are built so that the distance between wheels can be adjusted while the train is on the move. As Euronews Travel reports:

“The new trains are able to switch from the meter-gauge track of the MOB to the Swiss standard gauge by adjusting the distance between their wheels.

“Variable gauge mechanisms are nothing new - Spanish Talgo trains have been using them for decades - but the GPX trains stretch further, and are the first to shift between these two types of gauges. And they have another feature which makes them a world first, says MOB.”

But, what happens if you reach a different sized platform, I hear you shout. Well, don’t worry, because thanks to the new trains You’ve Got a Way to easily reach the platform. These trains also come with trucks beneath each carriage that can raise the height of the body to meet platforms of varying sizes.

A photo of the Golden Pass train passing in front of a mountain.
A photo of the Golden Pass train passing in front of a mountain.

I can’t believe you kiss your car good night.

The new trains, which were built by Swiss train maker Stadler and French transport giant Alstom in partnership with Pininfarina, can raise Up! from 350mm to 550mm off the ground.

All these innovations mean that rail travelers in Switzerland can now make the journey from Lake Geneva to Interlaken without getting off to switch trains.

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