As travelers become increasingly concerned about the footprint they leave on the planet, train travel is suddenly becoming more popular than it has been for decades.
However, French designer Thierry Gaugain plans to take the rail travel experience to a completely new level with his latest concept. Widely known for his background in superyachts, including the 262-foot (80-meter) Venus owned by Steven Jobs, Gaugain designed a private luxury train concept that features panoramic glass windows and sides that fold down to create occasional balconies.
Called “G Train,” it is envisaged as a $350 million “palace on rails” that will elevate the railway travel experience itself. The 1,300-foot (400-meter) luxury smart train is designed for a single owner and features 14 glazed cars. Each of these 14 carriages will feature smart glass windows and ceilings, which can be switched from opaque to transparent at the touch of a button – completely shifting the mood and environment for passengers. If the passengers want to create their own views, they can change the glass to opaque for privacy and can also project scenes or change color depending on the mood.
Its interior will contain an impressive owner’s suite, along with 18 guest rooms, a gym, the dining car, a spa, and public areas for entertainment, including a live music hall, art shows, and cinema theaters. The wings of the private luxury train can be folded down to devise alfresco terraces, where parties can be held or even onboard concerts. Guests will also have access to a “secret” garden that will act as a peaceful sanctuary for them. The caboose is saved for the toys to take the owner’s cars and recreational vehicles along the journey.
The G Train will travel at a 160 km/h (100 mph) speed and make as many stops along the way as the owner or their guests desired. It will be adapted to run on railways across the Americas and Europe. It would be guaranteed (in theory, for now) to offer the most luxurious traveling experience possible.
Gaugain has brought his concept to life in a series of exquisite computer-rendered 3D images showing both the outside and interior of the train’s design.
Experts in the required fields, including Swiss custom train builder Stadler, French glass manufacturer Saint-Gobain, UK engineering firm Eskerley O’Callaghan, and railway operations specialists have joined the project to test the feasibility of the train.
Gaugain does not yet have a buyer for his luxury train, which will likely cost around $350 million, and the project will take at least two and a half years to build. The designer admits he may need to find “someone as crazy as himself” to buy the train – someone who is aware of the uniqueness of this train and understands that it’s about travel, not how fast you get from point A to point B.