Leaving the scene in mid-December will be Mitropa Suisse, subsidiary of a Berlin-based rail diner firm noted for its up-scale menus and elegant service.
The move left Mitropa Suisse in the untenable role of a tenant competing against its landlord.
A short-term labor problem was solved when Passagio agreed to absorb the Mitropa Suisse staff.
Mitropa Suisse offers a firstclass meal in an elegant setting aboard the fast-moving ICN "tilting" trains.
But, as former Mitropa Suisse managing director Martin Kiefer explained when the ICN debuted this deluxe dining experience, the faster the trains, the shorter the interval between stops, and the tougher the task of restaurant car staff.
This comment--a backhanded slap at rival Passagio [then the Swiss Restaurant Corporation or SSG] as well as the American Amtrak zapped-food menu--sums up Mitropa Suisse's "fine dining" philosophy.
Mitropa won a big contract to serve passengers on the French high-speed TGV trains in 1997.