This All-Glass Smart Train Concept is a Luxurious ‘Palace on Rails’

The 1,310-foot long train concept will consist of 14 carriages with a $350 million price tag.
Chris Young
The G TrainThierry Gaugain

French designer Thierry Gaugain, who's known for his work on superyachts including the 260 feet (80-meter) Venus, which belonged to Steve Jobs, has changed the sea for the tracks by unveiling a luxury train concept with transparent walls, called the G Train, a report by CNN explains.

Described as a "palace on rails", the 1,310-foot (400-meter) long train concept will consist of 14 carriages, each of which stands in for separate rooms in a large palace or manor.

These include a welcome hall at the train's center, a residential area, an entertainment space, a social room, and a Grand Salon.

This All-Glass Smart Train Concept is a Luxurious ‘Palace on Rails’
The smart glass allows the exterior of the train to change from opaque to transparent. Source: Courtesy of Thierry Gaugain

The wings of the train can also be folded to transform into alfresco terraces, and a "secret" garden will also act as a peaceful sanctuary for guests.

The train's exterior will use a glass technology that can switch from opaque to transparent, completely shifting the mood and environment for passengers. When in opaque mode, the glass on the interior can also act as a screen, projecting any desired scenery or ambiance desired.

This All-Glass Smart Train Concept is a Luxurious ‘Palace on Rails’
A "secret" garden allows guests to enjoy an outdoors feeling onboard. Source: Courtesy of Thierry Gaugain

Speed is not the goal, Gaugain says. Instead, his train is designed to encourage inner journeys in a space where the trip can be just as fun, if not more so, than the destination.

18 overnight guests and many more party guests

Gaugain does not yet have a buyer for his luxury train, which he says is very much meant to be purchased by one individual instead of by an operator who can lease out the space — he may have to find a Jay Gatsby type looking to hold the most extravagant parties imaginable with a view to recapturing lost love.

If Gaugain does find a buyer, the train project will cost approximately $350 million, and it will take two and a half years or more to complete. The train will have space for approximately 18 overnight guests, and many more party guests, and it will be built to run on railways in Europe and the U.S. at speeds of 100 mph (160 km/h).

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This All-Glass Smart Train Concept is a Luxurious ‘Palace on Rails’
The train's wings can fold outwards, creating an alfresco terrace. Source: Courtesy of Thierry Gaugain

Experts in the required fields, including Swiss train builder Stadler, glass manufacturer Saint-Gobain, and U.K. engineering firm Eckersley O'Callaghan have joined the project to test the feasibility of the train.

While this is arguably less far-out than famous hovertrain and jet train concepts of the recent past, the concept could help to highlight rail travel as a more sustainable mode of transport for the world's wealthiest.

As trains contribute far fewer emissions than other popular forms of transport, Gaugain hopes that his train will signal the start of a new trend of (relatively) sustainable luxury, in which the journey itself is the most memorable part of the experience.

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