Newly Swissed Online Magazine

Starbucks on Rails

It is no secret that the Swiss love coffee. And with some 5'000 km of rails, Switzerland has one of the most dense public transportation systems in the world. Hence, the collaboration among the Starbucks coffee chain and Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) seems like a match made in heaven for many commuters.

Starting in Fall 2013, two InterCity coaches between St. Gallen and Geneva are going to feature fully equipped Starbucks coffee houses. The idea was to create a unique environment for travelers to socialize, work, or simply relax - all the while feeling like at home!

Starbucks on Rails in Switzerland

The Swiss pilot is the first such project worldwide, and it is a case study for balancing design and functionality. Since beverage preparation is very much process oriented, the biggest challenge for engineers was to fit the needed technology into the confined space of a rail wagon while maintaining enough space for a comfortable lounge.

Starbucks on Rails in Switzerland

The use of a variety of fabrics, leathers, glass panels, wallpapers and even live edge wooden surfaces is supposed to create a comfortable atmosphere for those of us on the move. Each Starbucks rail wagon is going to feature several spaces: The upper deck seating arrangement will be tailored to longer journeys, while the downstairs area will be more suitable for that quick espresso on the go...

"We want to celebrate the attention to detail which the Swiss have in a Starbucks rail car," says Liz Muller, Director of Global Concept Design.

Starbucks on Rails in Switzerland

While the recently launched My Starbucks Rewards loyalty program will likely be available, it appears that there are going to be more surprises and unique innovations...

Starbucks on Rails in SwitzerlandEither way, this concept rail wagon has me convinced that I am quickly going to turn into a regular once Starbucks hits the Swiss rail network!

Dimitri Burkhard

As the founder, editor, and community manager of Newly Swissed, Dimitri owns the strategic vision. He is passionate about storytelling and is a member of Swiss Travel Communicators.

Dimitri loves discovering new trends and covers architecture, design, start-ups and tourism.


  • As long as they don’t replace the Lavazza Espresso. Is it really a progress to have overpriced Starbucks Coffee everywhere?

  • Seriously, I can hardly wait for Starbucks to have their first SBB coach !! It looks so noble !! Either you love the Starbucks drinks, or you only like the delicious food ;-)
    I do enjoy the products and the comfort at Starbucks and I am willing to pay for this service. ;-)

  • This seems to make sence. Over priced train tickets complimented by over priced coffee. Next thing you know there will be an apple store railbar…. Were moving in the right direction.

  • I wonder if they will pay the proper tax on the profits they make on the trains? Or will they declare them a loss, as apparently all Starbucks in the UK have been for the last 15 years.

Dimitri Burkhard

Download our e-book: 77 Facts about Switzerland