Customer application January 15, 2021
How a Train Trip Becomes a Luxury Experience

From a simple trip to an evocatively moving moment: there are many stories about train travel – some are entertaining, others irksome, but they seldom revolve around style and comfort. This is not the case for the cutting edge Luxon panorama rail car – and the luxury is more than skin deep. The operators accepted no compromises when selecting the technical equipment, and decided to use WAGO rail-mount terminal blocks, pluggable connectors, and interface electronics.

The Luxon panorama rail car is in a class by itself. It offers everything required for a modern event location: a classy bar, an elegant lounge, seating options that are as comfortable as they are individually variable, and fine cuisine provided by a cook with 2 Michelin stars. But what makes it special is that the Luxon does not remain in one place; instead, it carries its private or business guests along the rails through Germany and Europe. “We can basically go anywhere that the tracks accommodate our wheel gauge – from Narvik in the north of Norway to Turkey in the south,” states Jörg Schurig, technical project manager. Together with Alex Dworaczek, he conducts the business of RailAdventure GmbH, a railway company based in Munich that operates the Luxon.

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» We created a market for something that did not previously exist. «

Jörg Schurig, Technical Project Manager and One of the Two Managing Directors of RailAdventure GmbH, the Corporation that Operates the Luxon

Maximum High Tech in Minimal Space – And Standard Compliant

As a rolling stock vehicle, the Luxon must satisfy the particularly strict requirements for electronic equipment applicable in the railway sector, as specified by DIN EN 50155, DIN EN 50121, or DIN EN 45545. Things become even more difficult when one desires to incorporate a maximum level of high tech gear – as in the Luxon – in the very limited space. Consequently, they sought a project partner that was closely linked to the railway sector. “WAGO was quite supportive of us in a very early phase, when we were merely working on product selection. This support has not diminished over all these years, even when things got really complicated. This is exemplary, such that I have seldom experienced it in the past,” Jörg Schurig praises the close collaboration.

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Photo: Henk Zwoferink

The Luxon does not remain in one place, but instead carries private or business guests along the rails through Germany and Europe.

46 Kilometers of Cable, More than 30,000 Connection Points

Over the course of the years, the Luxon has become a regular WAGO showroom – almost every component from the interconnection technology division is used somewhere in the vehicle. The Luxon includes more than 46 kilometers of electrical cables, which are connected by more than 30,000 connection points. Almost all of the electromechanical wiring installation is carried out using rail-mount terminal blocks and plug connectors from WAGO: from the sockets in the bar to the LED spots in the lounge up to the distribution boxes behind the galley in the lower level. The proven, reliable, maintenance-free spring pressure connection technology from Minden is found everywhere that electrical current flows and signals are transmitted.

Due to the limited installation space, the narrowest possible installation width is an obvious necessity in order to achieve the highest possible wiring density. Pluggable relay modules from WAGO, which are one of the few on the market that satisfy the strict requirements of the relevant railway standards, make a substantial contribution to solving this problem. Other guests will never see this, as the technology is hidden behind elegant panels.

Seven Years, Approximately 100,000 Working Hours

This is only possible due to the absolute determination, innovative spirit, and combined 60 years of business experience shared by Jörg Schurig and Alex Dworaczek, the managing directors. Both are quintessential railway men. Together, they bought a sixty-year-old panorama carriage from the former Rheingold TEE in 2011, got it shipshape again by pouring their hearts and souls into it, along with a great deal of time and substantial financial expenditures. It took more than seven years, estimated to be about 100,000 working hours. “You can’t just start projects like this from scratch. You need an extensive understanding of the sector, a stable network of reliable partners, and, not least, a decent level of technical expertise,” explains Jörg Schurig.

The result is a truly unique product of that passion. “We created a market for something that did not previously exist.” Jörg Schurig’s pride can be clearly heard. He is also quick to emphasize that his customers extend far beyond business people and corporations. “Quite the contrary! The largest percentage are private citizens, who are treating themselves to this luxury for a special occasion. We provide evocatively moving moments for prominent movie stars and for anniversary celebrations. And we mean that literally!”

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Photo: Roland Hermstein

Over the course of the years, the Luxon has become a regular WAGO showroom; almost every component from the connection and interface technology division is used somewhere in the vehicle.

» The support from WAGO is exemplary. I have seldom experienced it in the past! «

Jörg Schurig

An Example of a Luxon Trip – A Somewhat Different Type of Conference Room

But what does a trip in the Luxon actually look like? Hypothetically, Ruben Meyer is a board member and thus in demand as a commercial contact person. Meetings for him usually follow the same pattern: schedule a time, review the topics to be discussed, find the correct conference room, take a seat – and display stamina. For lunch, there will be a cold buffet in the hallway, or something hot in the staff restaurant. At the end of the day, his head spins, his eyes burn, and he will be happy just to be back out in the fresh air.

However, there are also events that run quite differently for our fictional, Bavarian board member. This time, Ruben Meyer and his colleagues find themselves on the way to the nearby Nuremberg central station instead of an austere conference room. A chartered train, booked specifically for this time, is waiting punctually for them at the platform, and includes a unique railway carriage, the Luxon. The immense glass roof in the center of the exceptional panorama carriage promises an unimpeded view of the passing landscape. The landscape itself can be individually selected, as the route is determined ahead of time during the contracting phase.

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Photo: Henk Zwoferink

Conference room with a view: The tables are currently arranged in their conference configuration in the Luxon panorama deck. The immense glass roof promises an unimpeded view of the passing landscape.

Departure from Nuremberg – Additional Boarding in Ingolstadt – Lunch along Lake Ammer

Following the departure from Nuremberg, Meyer and his team discuss the last details in the bar prior to the meeting. The tables in the panorama deck have already been arranged in their conference configuration. They arrive in Ingolstadt in about thirty minutes. The business partners, with whom they are concluding a supply contract, board at this point. A total of eleven people are now on board, with 20 being the maximum number of guests.

While the Luxon smoothly rolls southward, they can see Munich spread out on the left, with Lake Starnberg and the majestic Bavarian Alps in the distance – no other event coordinator can produce a view like this. After around two hours of intense discussions, Meyer and his guests can stretch their legs in Weilheim in Oberbayern, or relax in the lounge. The panorama deck is quickly converted to restaurant seating during the break. The crew requires only 30 minutes for this. They then take the scenic route around Lake Ammer during the refined three-course meal as they travel back to Ingolstadt and Nuremberg.

Text: Kilian Fröhlich, Key-Account-Manager Railway Industry at WAGO

Photo: Hilke Opelt

Making the luxurious railway experience possible by providing atmosphere, ambience, and indulgence: (from left) Alex Dworaczek, one of the two managing directors and operators of the Luxon, marketing manager Milena Antolí, and Tohru Nakamura, a Michelin one star chef.

» “You can’t just start projects like this from scratch. You need an extensive understanding of the sector, a stable network of reliable partners, and, not least, a decent level of technical expertise. «

Jörg Schurig

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