What does a musician with five Grammy Awards and two World Music Awards need to round off her list of achievements? A high-tech Swiss train named after her, of course.
The new Golden Pass Express train, which runs from Montreux on Lake Geneva to Interlaken in central Switzerland, has been named “Shania Train” as a tribute to Canadian country music star Shania Twain.
Twain has lived by Lake Geneva for 10 years, and a spokesperson for the Montreux Oberland Bernois Railway said in a press statement: “The Canadian singer is the godmother of the Shania Train.”
Twain spoke of her “honor” on Twitter after she attended the inauguration ceremony in December, tweeting: “All aboard the Shania Train to Twain Town.”
The new train – the first nonstop service on the route – has had to overcome some hefty obstacles.
First, the platforms at each station are at different heights, making getting on and off potentially hazardous. But now, thanks to trucks beneath each carriage, the new train’s body can adjust to the platform height by moving up or down 200 millimeters (nearly 8 inches).
The engineers’ other big challenge was finding a way to allow the train to run along the two different track gauges on the route. The solution? Wheels that can be adjusted to different widths while the train is on the move.
So where once passengers on the route had to change trains twice, they can now enjoy their three-hour journey across the Swiss Alps undisturbed.
The new train follows the “Golden Pass” trade route, which has existed since the Middle Ages, starting by tracking the shores of Lake Geneva before entering the Hongrin valley – famous for its dairy cows, cheese and chocolate. It terminates in the resort town of Interlaken.
At present, the service runs once a day in either direction, but from June 11, it will increase to four daily return trips.