GGB-Highest railway in Europe


GGB-Highest railway in Europe with a view of the Cervino mountain. In Gornergrat the high-altitude railway adapted to the slopes and mountainous environment.

A very special railway stretches along the sides of Mount Cervino, a rare attraction of its kind and proved to be one of the highest rails in the world, more precisely the highest in Europe. Clerprem is very excited to have actively taken part in such an ambitious and distinctive project.

The Gornergrat Bahn (GGB) is an electrically traction, metric gauge and rack railway that has a railway traction system, used when the slope of the track exceeds the natural adhesion capacity of the means intended to haul the trains, necessary to ensure or improve braking.

Its particularity, given not only by the towing conditions of the vehicle, is given by the interior design of the train coaches.
The space and seating systems involved a team of experts necessary to meet the unique needs of this train and its travelers. 

The route of this railway line starts from Zermatt (Switzerland) and covers a distance of 9.34 km to conclude its run in Gornergrat, with a series of intermediate stations, passing from about 1600 m.s.l.m. (meters above sea level) at about 3000 m.s.l.m. Gornergrat is currently the highest active ending station in Europe located at 3135m. For this reason, the considerable difference in height required an unusual need to adapt the railway to the slope of the mountain and its altitude.

The transfer takes about 30 minutes and offers a splendid panoramic view of Mount Rosa and the Cervino. The final destination, Gornergrat, represents a special excursion point: the destination attracts especially winter sports lovers, it is in fact equipped with facilities and equipment that enhance the territory.

The train journey is therefore an integral part of the experience: the route climbs parallel to the ski slopes. Everything has been designed to guarantee the passenger the best stay on board, favoring complete immersion in the mountains and glaciers. For this reason, a group of Clerprem’s experts consulted with the client Stadler to guarantee all the comforts needed on a high-altitude trip like this.


The plan Clerprem developed for the peculiar railway involves a supply of seats for the five new electric trains (each divided into two carriages). The goal is to renew the current seating system with a new system in line with the needs of the train, due to the slope of the mountain, the agility of the vehicle, the surrounding climatic conditions and the type of traveler.

The partnership created between Clerprem and Stadler has given rise to two types of carriages: a winter version (which has about 92 seats) and a summer version (which has about 98 seats). A gem that the Clerprem Group was able to follow in its most minute preciousness, given the rather small number of seats required compared to the standards of supplies in progress.

The dimensions of the train and consequently of the seating system are relatively smaller compared to normal trains and given the inclination the seats have been developed following new rules. The seat in question differs in both inclination and height between the various rows. This has been designed to ensure the same comfort as a standard seat and increase its grip, preventing the passenger from sliding forward while on board.

The seat is developed taking into consideration the climatic conditions in which the train coaches are inserted, the often cold and humid temperatures determined the upholstery fabric: a water-repellent fiber capable to dry quickly, as passengers often wear clothes wet from the snow on board. The fabric’s color is a shades of gray to match better   the harmony of the surrounding area. The painted aluminum structure, with brushed details, has been treated with solutions that retard oxidation and prevent premature corrosion, since passengers bring on board grains of salt scattered around the streets to prevent the streets from freezing.

The engineering teams chose a Tip up seat, with wall fixing, for three reasons:

• DIMENSION: reduce the footprint in an already small train;

• ENVIRONMENT: streamline the weight of the carriage with lighter and more resistant seats, while preserving CO2 emissions in the air;

• COMFORT: ensure more space inside the passenger compartment for any sports equipment.

a minimal look

The desire for a more minimal and linear seat was taken precisely to create a train that is not too invasive visually at a territorial level, reduce the environmental impact and favor the winter tourist, without sacrificing it’s comfort. A close relationship of know-how and technical specificity that has allowed Clerprem and Stadler to work in synergy, arriving at a “tailor-made” finished product studied in every detail. Every peculiarity, from the inclination to the materials, made it a very unique project.

Clerprem has always been committed to following customer requests step by step, not stopping it’s self  to only satisfying the clients needs, but to think and create together a product that perfectly incorporates the idea itself, proposing innovative solutions that go beyond the customer’s desire.

The capacities of the Group, favored by the short distance between the internal team and the customer ones, has created a perfect combination. In the engineering process of this seat, emerges Clerprem’s attention to every detail and the practicality in creating a seat ad hoc for the occasion. Attention to detail and design enhance its comfort.