The train is the vehicle of the future. They were protagonists of luxury in the history of the most exclusive tourism in the 20th century (Orient Express, Super Chief, Flying Scotsman …), but they were giving space in favor of speed in transport with the arrival of the plane. Immediacy was gained, but romance and the pleasure of enjoying the journey was lost.
Decades later, it returns with strength from the hand of a traveler eager for experiences and aware of the environmental impact of tourism. It is no accident that luxury cruise trains are making a comeback. Trains are being renovated and inaugurated, and new routes are being opened. Like the Japanese luxury railway, JR Kyushu, which has just presented its exquisite electric train with five scenic routes on the third largest island in Japan, Kyushu, the same one that passes one of the most luxurious trains in the world, the Seven Stars.
Alaska Railroad, Belmond Royal Scotsman and Venice Simplon-Orient-Express are expanding their offerings. The latter, operated by Belmond, has just added three Grand Suites at the height of its large hotels, such as the Cadogan or the Cipriani, in Art Deco style, with a double oak bed, an en-suite bathroom and 24-hour butler service.
The project has just been announced for the new luxury cruise train, the Dolce Vita, which will travel through the most iconic landscapes of Italy through ten routes and will reach 128 cities. Each of the trains will have a capacity of 64 guests in its 11 carriages, with 12 luxury cabins and 20 suites.
The exclusive Belmond Royal Scotsman has begun to include in 2021 the private travel service of up to 24 passengers at a price of 35,000 pounds for two nights.
It was a matter of time, beyond the luxury car, the yacht or the jet, the exclusivity of a private train was lacking. The project is already underway, it is called G Train and has been devised by the prestigious French designer Thierry Gaugain, whose name is inextricably linked to that of luxury, who plans to take the experience to a new and exclusive level.
Reinventing private transportation
Renowned for his superyacht design and collaborations with prestigious designer Philippe Satr – including the 80-meter Venus, owned by Steve Jobs – he now reinvents private transportation, with a high-tech, luxury smart train designed for a single owner. , with 14 glass wagons that he defines as “an authentic glass palace on rails”.
It is not a public train, nor is it a passenger train. It is strictly private, for a single owner, tailor-made and designed for travel around the world, a project that promises to reinvent train travel and the luxury travel sector.
Gaugain, who started out as an industrial designer, creating products for Louis Vuitton and other fashion firms, moved to motorcycle and hotel interior design, later sailboats and then superyachts, has embarked on his most ambitious project: design the world’s first private train, and the most exclusive ever. It is a natural evolution, especially considering the fascination he has had for the train since he was a child.
The G Train is designed to travel with all the luxuries and comforts. It will be 400 meters long and 14 glass cars, but not just any glass, but high-tech glass with opacity levels to regulate the light. It will have an impressive suite and 18 guest rooms, gym, spa, dining car and public spaces. An area whose sides unfold like wings to create an outdoor terrace, a secret garden and space to store cars, which surely small children will not be.
A super team
Over the past three years, Gaugain has assembled a team of experts such as Swiss train builder Stadler, glassmaker Saint-Gobain, British engineering firm Eckersley O’Callahan and safety company Marine Guard, to ensure that that the design is feasible. It is underway, the project will take at least two and a half years to build.
It has no owner, yet, because Thierry Gaugain had one person in mind when he designed it: Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve Jobs’s widow. Its price, no less than 350 million dollars.1