New luxury train concept for $350M, 'palace on Rails'
Rail travel long distance seemed like it was on the verge of extinction a few years back, but much has changed since then.
Traveling in the classic way is seeing a revival as more eco-friendly options are explored by travelers.
Numerous new trains and routes are in development, including Italy’s Dolce Vita train, which will run 10 routes through some of Italy’s most famous landscapes. Midnight Trains will also be available, a network of overnight services that runs from Paris to 12 European destinations.
French designer Thierry Gaugain has a new concept: a private luxury train that is made to measure for a lucky owner.
Philippe Starck is a well-known designer who Gaugain has collaborated on many projects with. This is Gaugain’s first attempt at designing a train.
The 400-meter long train is described as a luxury “palace on the rails” and will consist of 14 cars and a glass so technologically advanced it can change from transparent to opaque.
Gaugain told CNN Travel that the train was envisioned for a single owner. It’s neither a passenger train nor a public train.
“The owner that we see is someone who understands the uniqueness of the train and is able to communicate with us about how transportation works. It’s not about how fast you can get from A to B.
Gaugain believes that travel is more about speed than actual journeys. He sees the G Train, as a means of transport where passengers can have as much fun as possible on their way to their destination.
He says that travel is not about speed. It’s about taking your time because time is our only treasure.
Passenger can change the interior of the train at any section.
They can choose transparent mode to protect the outdoors, or they can turn the glass to opaque to create any view they desire.
Gaugain explains, “The train is a stage.” You can change the time, the season and the light to alter your relationship with time.
Although a luxury train may not seem like the best transition to motor yacht designs at first glance, Gaugain says that the idea was born when he was young and that trains have always fascinated his family.
He says that trains are “fantastic.” There are many romantic ideas associated with them.
Gaugain was thinking of Laurene Powell Jobs, a billionaire, when he imagined the G Train. She is the widow from Steve Jobs.
He admits that he was thinking about her when the idea first came to him.
He is yet to find a buyer and admitted that he might need to find someone “as crazy” to purchase the train. The project will cost at least two-and-a half years and will likely cost around $350million.
He says, “Maybe that person who purchases the train will begin a new chapter in their life.” We [travelers] are always in a hurry.
“We need to take some time to slow down and understand what inner travel is to get to where we want to go.
The G Train has space for 18 overnight guests and is expected to travel at 160 km/h. It will also be adaptable to run on rails in Europe and the Americas.
Gaugain brought in a variety of experts to make sure the design was “feasible”.
He explains that such a train is extremely complicated. “Because there are no trains that run on all tracks in the world that comply with all systems.”
If passengers decide to travel in different directions, the G Train can be divided into two.
The train’s welcome hall is located in the middle of the train. This leads to the main residential area, which includes the owner’s accommodation, entertainment space, and an area for special guests. There’s also an area for special visitors, a social area, and a Grand Salon, specifically designed for receptions.
Guests can also access a secret garden. The train’s wings can be folded down to create alfresco terraces.
If passengers decide to travel in different directions, the G Train can be divided into two.
This concept is being developed at a time when overnight / long-distance rail travel is thriving again. Austria’s OBB announced a collaboration with Germany’s Deutsche Bahn, France’s SNCF, and Swiss Federal Railways in order to launch new “Nightjet” routes. Also, a sleeper train will be launched between Zurich, Barcelona, and all of these routes within the next four years.
As more people become aware of their environmental footprint, renewed interest in train travel is closely tied to it.
Gaugain states that he is not surprised by the trend and predicts that trains in the future will become more popular.
He says, “The train isn’t an object from yesterday.” “Trains are meeting our present right now. Sustainability is one reason.
When it comes to transporting objects, trains are more durable than any other means. The plane is far ahead of the train, while other modes are extremely energy-consuming.
It [trains] will be more and more a vehicle of the future. We have this train in mind to be a future-proof vehicle. The perfect marriage of luxury and the most advanced technology.