- French designer Thierry Gaugain has designed what he calls the “world’s first private luxury train.”
- The “palace on rails” would be covered in smart glass and could cost over $300 million to build.
- Gaugain previously designed Apple cofounder and former CEO Steve Jobs’ 260-foot (79.25m) yacht Venus.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
We’ve all heard of private yachts and private jets. But now the French designer Thierry Gaugain has designed what he calls the “world’s first private luxury train.”
Gaugain is a prolific designer who has worked across multiple fields, designing furniture, glasses, motorbikes, and private planes.
Gaugain has also designed yachts and helped create Apple cofounder and former CEO Steve Jobs’ 260-foot (79.25m) yacht Venus.
But now, for the first time, Gaugain has decided to create a design for a private luxury train, in part because “everyone loved trains in their childhood,” he told Insider. “It’s an old dream coming through,” he added.
Yes, he could have designed an Amtrak train or a passenger train. But why do that when you can create the “ultimate way to travel” in luxury.
We all know the expression “it’s about the journey, not the destination.” Well, that was the intention of the G Train.
“During my years of working on travel concepts, I fine-tuned all the ideas of journeys, how to move, and how to discover the world,” Gaugain said. “It appeared to me that a train for a one unique owner, [like] a yacht, was a very good way to reinvent the idea of journey.”
Like other methods of transportation Gaugain has designed, the G Train was created to be a place to live. This was done by integrating technology, art, and light: “This train is meant to be a stage changing all the time by mechanical or digital means,” he said.
It’s not a hotel on wheels – it’s a “palace on rails,” Gaugain said.
“Our aim for this G Train is to design a palace on rails that could look like a snake under the sun or a night bird,” he said.
Now let’s take a peek around the 14-car, 1,312-foot (399.90m)-long train.
Gaugain imagines an owner of this train would be someone who is “certainly exceptional, maybe someone looking for a new chapter of his life.”
According to the designer, everyone involved in the project – from himself to Swiss train builders and French glass makers – worked for several years to “ensure the feasibility” of the G Train.
The G Train could hit almost 99 mph (159km/h) and operate on railways in places like the US, Europe, and Russia.
The train’s owner could host family gatherings, business partners, and partygoers.
One of the most noticeable features of the train concept is its smart-glass covering, which could switch from totally transparent to a gold-toned opacity with a push of a button.
Creating a glass-encased train – we’re talking almost 37,674 square feet of glass – would allow the train’s owner to bring the outdoors into the train.
So light plays a central role in the design of the train. Natural light through the glass walls and digital lighting systems help set the mood on board.
The G Train’s 14 cars would have a variety of rooms and uses, from bedroom suites to a garden and an art gallery.
There would even be enough room to accommodate 18 overnight guests – not including any of the crew – in the VIP suites.
The owner’s sleeping quarters and living room cars would be separate from these guest suites and come with features like a family dining room, office, bathtub, and large bedroom.
The train would also have a “social center” with winged terraces on both sides of the car. This space would be perfect for parties, shows, or dinners.
But if the owner wanted some peace and tranquility instead, they could head to the garden car, which is customizable based on the season.
There would also be a car dedicated to toy storage, but we’re not talking about the board games and stuffed animals. Toys in this instance means off-road vehicles, motorbikes, and flying cars.
The G Train is customizable, which means there’s an option to turn one of the cars into a swimming pool or a catwalk for a fashion show.
Gaugain estimated building all this could land at around $300 million, even upward of $350 million. Yes, that’s a large range, but that’s because the exact pricing hinges on all the amenities and artwork the G Train’s owner might want.
The train would then take over two years to build.
This cost and time may seem like a turnoff to prospective buyers, but Gaugain said the train would be a “vehicle for the future” because of its sustainability and technology-forward amenities.