Travel like a president: Suisse Salon rail car available to rent, SBB confirms

Travel like a president: Suisse Salon rail car available to rent, SBB confirms

During his visit to Switzerland, French President Emmanuel Macron was shipped about the country using the Salon Suisse, a special rail carriage used by the President and the Federal Council. After gaining significant attention in the press, Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has confirmed that anyone is able to rent the carriage out for anything from discos on wheels to high-stakes meetings.

Swiss presidential train can be rented out, says SBB

During his visit to the alpine nation last week, the President of France was pictured alongside Swiss President Alain Berset on the Salon Suisse train as it travelled towards Geneva. The visit drew particular attention to the carriage itself and the fact that the Swiss government has access to an exclusive set of wheels, which it uses to travel to state occasions - once a year, they even use the train to go on holiday with each other.

Speaking to Watson, company director Vincent Ducrot said that Macron was “impressed by the quality of our infrastructure and our rolling stock.” The company added that you don’t have to be an elected official or head of state to use the train, as the Salon Suisse is actually available to rent for parties and events.

Passengers treated to private carriage designed around them

The private carriages, which can be rented as either a single or double, feature leather armchairs, sofas, large conference tables and food and drinks facilities. Everything about the layout can be customised upon request, and SBB is even prepared to let people bring their own furniture if they believe the decor is not to their taste.

The carriage will be completely closed off to the public during the trip. SBB said the carriages are perfect for a “party night”, with the Salon Suisse also able to be converted into a disco on wheels. What’s more, you are largely able to choose where you’d like to go in Switzerland as the company is able to attach the private carriages to most public transport services between cities, or even arrange to have a fully private train pull you along. Here's what you can expect on board:

SBB offers charter services on Salon Suisse

Some of the routes suggested included a city jaunt from Zurich to Basel, Lucerne and back, a journey to Rheinfall and back from Zurich, a trip around Lake Zurich or a highly indulgent long-distance trip from Zurich to Lugano and back via Zug. Each package includes a three-course meal, but be warned: drinks are not included.

So what does all this opulence cost? Well for a trip to Ticino and back in the Suisse Salon, it’ll set you back 20.920 francs. If the full capacity of both carriages is reached, and every participant is both teetotal and carrying their own water bottle, this would mean 308 francs per person, roughly 80 francs more than a first-class ticket between the two cities. The cheapest charter service offered is the trip around Lake Zurich, costing a mere 11.350 francs.

Don't worry, cheaper options are available

Luckily, those without that kind of money hidden in the sofa still have a chance to experience presidential rail travel. SBB also offers a number of other events on the train, including wine tastings, cocktail workshops and Swiss tapas nights - whatever that means. If you are in the mood for booking a presidential trip somewhere, check out the official website.

Thumb image credit: EQRoy /

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

Read more



Leave a comment