When you think of billionaire travel, a private jet, luxury superyacht, high-end helicopter, or an exclusive hypercar is likely the first form of transport that comes to mind.
Far from thought is a once-dominant mode of transport for the masses often seen as utilitarian at best – the train.
Trains are wonderful…. To travel by train is to see nature and human beings, towns and churches, and rivers, in fact, to see life.
The relaxed alternative to private jets, there’s now a luxury private train looking to breathe life into an aged industry and bring billionaires back on track.
A concept by luxury yacht designer Thierry Gaugain, the A$486 million G-Train is dubbed a ‘palace on wheels’ – making the decadence of famous trains like the Orient Express pale in comparison.
Certainly not a vehicle for a crowd, the Paris-based designer known for his futuristic creations including Steve Jobs’ superyacht Venus and the 120-meter Motor Yacht A, says it’s designed as a fresh way to explore the world for one owner.
We tend to think about rail transportation only in terms of speed, moving lots of people from point A to point B in record time. But this 14-car train would belong to a single owner. It’s an alternative, very leisurely way to see the world, beyond the yacht and jet.
True to Gaugain’s innovative outlook, if the concept takes to production it will be nothing short of an engineering marvel with the Frenchman describing it as a “marriage of extreme luxury and the best technology.”
Stretching almost 400 meters long, 14 cars are powered by four bespoke locomotives propelling the train to 160km/h. The exterior is crafted in high-tech smart glass that transitions from transparent to opaque at the touch of a button.
Inside the luxurious space sleeps 18 guests split into two sections – an owner’s accommodation and entertainment space and a separate crew and guest quarters. Continuing the range of luxury offerings are VIP suites, a VIP salon, alfresco terraces, a gym, and a spa.
Naturally appealing to the ultra-rich, there’s a dedicated carriage for luxury toys such as a space for cars and motorbikes.
A prolific designer, Gaugain’s resume spans superyachts, luxury hotels, and retail spaces as well as work with high-end brands including Louis Vuitton and private aircraft projects with Airbus and Boeing.
This project however is more than one man.
Some of the best engineers and architects are involved with the project including Swiss train builder Stadler Rail, French glassmaker Saint-Gobain and engineering firm Eckersley O’Callaghan. They’ll also work alongside Marine Guard, who handles safety and security, and DWH for outfitting the luxury interior.
The G-Train is now reportedly available to build for an owner.
This article originally appeared on Fancy and do not necessarily represent the views of australiaexploring.com