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SBB launches Starbucks coffee coach

15 Nov 2013

SWITZERLAND: A Swiss Federal Railways IC2000 double-deck buffet car has been refurbished and branded as a Starbucks Coffee House. From November 21 it will be used for a nine-month trial period on two daily services from Genève and Fribourg to St Gallen, and the success of the venture will be evaluated before a decision is made on future use.

The exterior is decorated with the Starbucks logo and icons on the windows representing items from the menu, while Starbucks says the interior features a 'warm and welcoming colour palette inspired by the shades and tints associated with coffee, from dark roasted brown beans to snowy white steamed milk.'

The lower deck has standing space intended for use by customers making shorter journeys. The upper deck has been designed as a lounge for passengers making longer trips, with 'distinctive beige-coloured leather, moveable club chairs and wooden community tables.' Swiss-inspired details include dials resembling watches built into the tables, with numbers which can be used for table service. There are 50 seats in total.

'It was an incredible and rewarding challenge to design our first ever Starbucks store on a train', said Liz Muller, director of concept design for Starbucks. 'We had to combine functionality and beautiful design, whilst taking into account a variety of factors such as constant movement of the train, space limitation and stringent safety regulations. This is one of the smallest espresso bars and stores we have ever designed and is a result of a unique collaboration of experts, including local designers and engineers from SBB. Working closely together with SBB over the past two years, makes me very proud that we can now truly bring the Starbucks experience to life on this train'.

During the 1990s SBB had buffet cars operated in partnership with McDonald's.