[CH] MOB orders variable gauge carriages for the GoldenPass Express

The Montreux-Berner Oberland-Bahn (MOB, Chemin de fer Montreux-Oberland bernois in French) is a passenger rail operator from Switzerland. It operates a meter gauge rail network with both EMUs and loco-hauled rolling stock. In 2020 a long-desired improvement to its services will become reality; passengers will no longer have to change trains at Zweisimmen where the MOB-network meets with the normal gauge line to Interlaken-Ost, property of BLS.

MOB, Alstom and Prose have been developing new variable gauge bogies for a while now. It is a unique and challenging project, as the rolling stock will have to comply with two different rail systems, having different safety requirements, signalling and voltage systems.

In the Autumn of 2018, BLS will start installing of two axle gage changeover points at Zweisimmen station, so the first test runs can be held. The new bogies will be mounted under existing rolling stock for these tests.

The current planning foresees non-stop travelling Montreux and Interlaken-Ost to start at the end of 2020, a year later as envisaged originally. It will be promoted under the GoldenPass Express brand name.

Stadler Rail will deliver new coaches for the MOB that will get the new Alstom bogies. The images in this article show a model of a driving trailer of these new type of trains. The coaches will be combined with MOB or BLS locomotives / EMUs that have no variable gauge bogies, so coupling on/off at Zweisimmen will remain necessary.

Photo: MOB
Photo: MOB