GoldenPass Express

SWITZERLAND: Montreux-Oberland Bahn has withdrawn the gauge-changing GoldenPass Express through service between Montreux and Interlaken, following unusually high wear of pointwork on the standard gauge section operated by BLS.

MOB said on March 9 that a routine inspection by BLS in February had detected exceptional wear of the pointwork on the 1 435 mm gauge Zweisimmen – Interlaken route used by the GoldenPass Express. BLS then decided to prohibit use of the gauge-changing stock over its tracks, pending further investigation.

Through running was only introduced last December, after an extensive programme of trials.

The Stadler-built GoldenPass Express stock with gauge-changing bogies remains in operation on the metre-gauge line between Montreux and Zweisimmen, where passengers must change for a connecting BLS train.

Both MOB and BLS are examining the rolling stock and infrastructure to determine the cause of the excess wear. No increased wear has been found when other trains have been running on the BLS part of the route.

‘With an innovative product like this, all stakeholders are constantly learning’, said MOB CEO Georges Oberson. ‘We measured bogie data on the BLS section. All the data are identical to those observed during the approval process. We are convinced of the reliability of our new trains.’

BLS CEO Daniel Schafer confirmed that ‘we are analysing the results with MOB and hope that the GoldenPass Expres service will soon be able to resume on the BLS network. Our customers really appreciate the trains.’