The definitive ranking of cool shit to buy when you’re minted goes: private plane, then yacht and helicopter is at the top. But now, a concept from luxury ship designer Thierry Gaugain has gone straight in as the coolest thing you can buy as a billionaire. Welcome to the private train.
Now, before this all gets a bit Snowpiercer, the $US350 ($486) million G Train concept isn’t a vehicle for the masses. Oh no, its designer envisaged the train for a single individual and their closest friends.
The 399.90 m-long train can reach speeds of up to 159 km/h as you cruise the railways of the world. And inside, instead of the cramped quarters of your average private plane, the G Train has all the trimmings you’d find in the standard palace or penthouse.
According to Forbes, the luxury locomotive has space for 18 guests across its two sections. One of which is reserved for the owner and their entertainment spaces, and the other includes rooms for guests and crew members.
Across the G Train’s 14 carriages, you’ll find four VIP suites, dining rooms and space for private concerts. The wings of the train can also fold out to create outdoor dining terraces. You can’t do that while you cruise the skies in your private jet!
On board, the train also has space to store cars, motorbikes and other billionaire playthings. So, once you reach the end of the track, you can continue your journey in style instead of hopping onto a replacement bus service.
What’s more, the train itself isn’t just a converted old Amtrak locomotive. Instead, it will be powered by four bespoke locomotives that Gaugain says will be able to run on “railways across the Americas and Europe, from Mediterranean shores up to Scandinavia and Russia.”
The shell of the train comprises a technical glass, rather than plain old steel or aluminium. The hi-tech glass can quickly change from transparent to black with the flick of a switch.
What’s more, the designers say this is more than just a concept.
In fact, Gaugain and his team have partnered with locomotive builder Stadler, glass maker Saint-Gobain and engineering firm Eckersley O’Callaghan Engineers to show how serious they are about bringing this train to fruition.
And I for one am all for this new vision of railway luxury.
Why spend seven hours stuck twiddling your thumbs on a private plane crossing the U.S., when you could instead make it a two-day trip surrounded by luxury as you take in the country’s scenery?
As well as being a more civilized way to make it from A to B, travelling by private train could also be a more eco-conscious way for the world’s billionaires to get around.
On a commercial journey, you know the kind that us normals must take. If you take the train, your personal carbon emissions will be cut in half compared with taking a plane.
A report from the European Environment Agency also found that rail and waterborne transport have the lowest emissions per mile. On the other hand, flying or driving are some of the worst emitters.
So, there you go. Find your friendly neighbourhood billionaire and convince them that they need a G Train instead of a new jet. That way, our crumbling rail system can become the great equaliser of our time.
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