On 20 August 1998, the Gornergrat Railway celebrated its 100th anniversary. At the time, Marcel Mooser was Head of Marketing & Operations and was in charge of project management for the event. In this interview, the former member of the Management Board of BVZ Holding and the Matterhorn Gotthard Bahn tells us about the anniversary year.
How do you celebrate a 100-year anniversary?
“The 100th anniversary was an enormous milestone. We planned and prepared the anniversary meticulously and with great effort. A year earlier, we had already started planning with the help of an event agency and had already put aside funds in the years before that. The idea was to offer something for all stakeholders and shareholders. We wanted to meet the needs of customers, employees, shareholders, invited guests and the general public.”
What was there to experience?
“For customers, we had a promotional anniversary offer of being able to travel up the Gornergrat for CHF 18.00 within a certain period of time. That was the price charged back in 1898. Throughout the summer, we set up the old steam locomotive G 3/3 “Johann Fuchs” as an attraction on the Bahnhofplatz (station square) in Zermatt. The locomotive was used as a construction locomotive by the GGB from 1897, but was later sold to Spain. We brought it back for the anniversary.”
What do you particularly remember?
“The main point of the event was the big ceremony on 20 August. We erected a large marquee on the roof of the station in Zermatt. To mark the occasion, a play about “The 10 Decades of the Gornergrat Railway” was performed in which the actors wore costumes from the respective decades. This was followed by a large banquet. We also hired a group of singing waiters from America. That was really impressive. And we organised a big staff party for the employees.”