The Alppiercers

for SBB Cargo International

Swiss heritage in the modern railway era. 

Client: SBB Cargo International
Project: Multip. Alppiercer projects

Locomotive: Siemens Vectron

"Hello from Switzerland, we are SBB Cargo International. Yes, we are part of the 'good old' Swiss railways, but we are new, we are young, we cross borders. How do we communicate this to the outside world?" Railcolor found the answer: This is the Alppiercer story.


Together with all stakeholders, Railcolor Design was able to create a base livery design, bringing together two different worlds:

SBB Cargo International is part of the Swiss state railways. Many say Switzerland has the best railway system in the world. 'SBB' is a synonym for reliability and quality.

SBB Cargo International is a young daughter company, active since 2011. Unlike its mother company, it operates in a competitive, international, and open market. 


The Alppiercer concept

The result is the already famous 'Alppiercer' design setting a new standard for all generations of locomotives in the fleet of SBB Cargo International. SBB Red and SBB Blue are the basis, the black masks are direct referral to all other SBB rolling stock. New for the company is the addition of lighter blue color tones, representing SBBCI's open, lean and modern company culture.  


Symbolism and heritage are important in railways, and for SBB Cargo International. Each locomotive is named, each locomotive sports the logo of a city or river, made one by one.


The locomotives are predominantly used for long-haul freight traffic connecting the West-European harbors, in Germany and the Netherlands, with Italy. No longer these trains have to go over the Alps, they can 'pierce through' using the new tunnels like the Gotthard Base Tunnel. 


Nightpiercer, Ceneripiercer, Hollandpiercer...

The Alppiercer design is also flexible. The sides can be styled in different ways, to commemorate special events for example. In 2020 the Ceneri Base Tunnel will open. Above you see one machine celebrating this special event.


In 2019 SBB Cargo International opened a new business unit in the Netherlands. This occasion too was a reason to release a very 'Dutch' Design.


We have now created the design for over 40 locomotives of SBB Cargo International - and we are not done yet. The future or rail is looking bright and we look forward to extending the brand family to other countries and locomotive types.


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