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Swiss tilt at catering innovation

01 Aug 2000

JULY 6 saw the introduction of restaurant cars on Swiss Federal Railways' tilting ICN trains between Lausanne, Biel, Zürich and St Gallen. Each unit includes a wheelchair-accessible restaurant car, operated by Mitropa Suisse SA. The vehicle has a 23-seat dining section, kitchen and buffet, decked out in 'warm and friendly colours'.

As well as the dining car open to all passengers, Mitropa is offering at-seat meal service in first class. Second-class passengers have the option of a take-away buffet counter or a new-generation of minibar service including freshly-brewed coffee. Meals include a new ICN Breakfast and a range of popular local delicacies.

The restaurant vehicle also has free six-seat compartments with first-class seating, available for group bookings by first and second class passengers. Mitropa Suisse is keen to develop its meal service for groups.

Under the 'whole-train' catering concept, the kitchen area is equipped to act as a logistics centre, with docking bays for the trolleys and minibars, as well as standard equipment such as microwave, combination steamer, dishwasher and automatic coffee brewer. The buffet is also equipped to serve draught beer.

As the rest of the fleet arrives, SBB plans to operate pairs of ICNs in multiple on most services. Mitropa will be offering full catering on both units throughout the journey. n

CAPTION: Dining cars on the Swiss Federal Railways ICN tilting inter-city trainsets are operated by Mitropa Suisse

nFormer Cross Channel Catering Company staff and facilities transferred on June 1 to Momentum, the joint venture of Granada Food Services of Great Britain and Cremonini SpA of Italy which began on that date its three-year contract to provide on-train catering to Eurostar Group (RG 3.00 p152). From this autumn over a period of some 18 months, Momentum plans to roll out service enhancements and new products, as well as improved buffet displays and on-board equipment.

n British train operator Anglia Railways introduced catering trolley service on its cross-country Ipswich - Peterborough route from July 17, initially for a six-week trial. The trolleys will be operated by Heritage Catering, which already provides catering for Anglia's Crosslink services to Basingstoke.