If you’re visiting Switzerland, you cannot miss out on the railway experience that the country has to provide. And to make the most of all the rail amusement, Starbucks has partnered with Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) to unveil a unique café on the tracks! Yes, you read that right!
While the outlet is now defunct, it featured a railway carriage (the first of its kind) that was converted into a coffee shop with the unique Starbucks branding on the exterior. Inside, the seating was divided into two levels. The lower one came with a curved wooden serving bar and a small pantry.
The second level featured a coffee bar and a lounge area with movable club chairs covered in beige leather and detailing. The décor included coffee-associated shades and tints along with a small lantern (designed like an upside-down Starbucks cup) in each lounge window.
Other aesthetic elements included wooden “community” tables fitted with a specially designed dial designed to resemble a Swiss watch dial, which helped the staff in delivering the orders. Standing bars further completed the look.
Keeping in mind the safety of the visitors, the café was designed to serve 50 people only. Commenting on it, Liz Muller, director of concept design for Starbucks said, “It was an incredible and rewarding challenge to design our first ever Starbucks store on a train. 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 2 years makes me very proud that we can now truly bring the Starbucks Experience to life on this train,” she had further added.
The Starbucks on rail took its first official voyage on the train line running from Geneva Airport to St.Gallen in Switzerland on November 21, 2013, at 06:36am. It was later discontinued in 2016.