Could this Thierry Gaugain creation be the vehicle for the future?

August 2, 2021

French designer Thierry Gaugain has designed what he calls the world’s first private luxury train. As reported by businessinsider.com, the palace on rails is covered in smart glass and could cost over $300 million to build. 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 co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs’ 260-foot yacht “Venus.”

But now, for the first time, Gaugain has decided to create a private luxury train design, in part because “everyone loved trains in their childhood,” he told Insider. “It’s an old dream coming through.”

“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 to businessinsider.com, “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, [not travel].”

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.

“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” is how he puts it.

Gaugain imagines a potential owner of this 14-car, over 1,312-foot long 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 to French glass makers — worked for several years to “ensure the feasibility” of the G Train.

As per businessinsider.com, the G Train can hit almost 99 miles-per-hour and can operate on railways in places like the US, Europe, and Russia. One of the most noticeable features of the train concept is its smart glass covering, which can switch from total 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 worth of glass — allows the train’s owner to bring the outdoors into the train. Therefore, 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 aboard the “palace on rails.”

The G Train’s 14 cars have a variety of rooms and uses, from bedroom suites to a garden to an art gallery. There’s even 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 are separate from these guest suites and come with features like a family dining room, office, bathtub, and large bedroom.

The train also has a “social center” with winged terraces on both sides of the car. This space is perfect for parties, shows, or dinners.

But if the owner wants some peace and tranquility instead, they can head to the garden car, which is customizable per season. There’s also 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 even an option to turn one of the cars into a swimming pool or a catwalk for a fashion show. Gaugain estimates building all of this could land at around $300 million, even upwards of $350 million. Yes, that’s a large range, but that’s because the exact pricing hinders on all of 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 turn-off to potential buyers, but Gaugain says trains will be a “vehicle for the future” due to its sustainability, and in G Train’s case, technology-forward amenities.

by Anil George
Avid follower of all things tech. In between his quest for the ultimate gizmo, Anil fiddles with light meters, collects rare books and feeds his fetish for Jap horror movies. As Managing Editor of T3 Middle East for the GCC, Anil oversees content direction across print and digital. He was a CES 2020 Innovation Awards Judge, reprising his role as an Innovation Awards Judge at CES 2018, CES 2017, 2016 and 2015. Anil is also the Middle East's first Brand Ambassador for Ashdown Engineering. Reach him at: editor@t3me.com.