A rendering of the G Train in the desert.
Thierry Gaugain
  • French designer Thierry Gaugain has designed what he calls the "world's first private luxury train."
  • The "palace on rails" is covered in smart glass and could cost over $300 million (R4.4 billion) to build.
  • Gaugain previously designed Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs' 80-metre yacht "Venus."
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

We've all heard of private yachts and private. But now, French designer Thierry Gaugain has designed what he calls the "world's first private luxury train."

A rendering of the G Train in the desert.
Thierry Gaugain

Gaugain is a prolific designer who has worked across multiple fields, designing furniture, glasses, motorbikes, and private planes.

Thierry Gaugain.
Thierry Gaugain

Gaugain has also designed yachts, and helped create Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs' 80-metre yacht "Venus."

A rendering of the side view of the G Train.
Thierry Gaugain

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."

A rendering of the G Train running near a river.
Thierry Gaugain

Yes, he could have designed an Amtrak or a passenger train. But why do that when you can create the "ultimate way to travel" in luxury.

A rendering of the G Train.
Thierry Gaugain

We all know the expression "it's about the journey, not the destination." Well, that was the intention of the G Train.

A rendering of the side view of the G Train.
Thierry Gaugain

"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. "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]."

A rendering of a party happening on the G Train's terrace.
Thierry Gaugain

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," he said.

A rendering of the G Train's window.
Thierry Gaugain

It's not a hotel on wheels - it's a "palace on rails," Gaugain said.

A rendering of the G Train's garden.
Thierry Gaugain

"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," he said.

A rendering of the front of the G Train.
Thierry Gaugain

Now let's take a peek around the 14-car, over 400-metre long train.

A rendering of a party happening on the G Train's terrace.
Thierry Gaugain

Gaugain imagines a potential owner of this train would be someone who is "certainly exceptional, maybe someone looking for a new chapter of his life."

A rendering of the G Train's terrace wings.
Thierry Gaugain

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.

A rendering of the G Train's terrace
Thierry Gaugain

The G Train can hit almost 160 km/h and can operate on railways in places like the US, Europe, and Russia.

A rendering of the G Train running near a river.
Thierry Gaugain

The train's owner can host family gatherings, business partners, and party goers aboard the G Train.

A rendering of a party happening on the G Train's terrace.
Thierry Gaugain

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.

A rendering of the G Train's bathtub.
Thierry Gaugain

Creating a glass encased train - we're talking almost 3,500 square-metres worth of glass - allows the train's owner to bring the outdoors into the train.

A rendering of the G Train's window.
Thierry Gaugain

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."

A rendering of the G Train operating in a snowy area.
Thierry Gaugain

The G Train's 14 cars have a variety of rooms and uses, from bedroom suites to a garden to an art gallery.

A rendering of the G Train's terrace
Thierry Gaugain

There's even enough room to accommodate 18 overnight guests - not including any of the crew - in the VIP suites.

A rendering of the G Train's terrace
Thierry Gaugain

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.

A rendering of the G Train's bathtub.
Thierry Gaugain

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.

A rendering of the G Train's terrace wings.
Thierry Gaugain

But if the owner wants some peace and tranquility instead, they can head to the garden car, which is customisable per season.

A rendering of the G Train's garden.
Thierry Gaugain

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.

A rendering of the G Train.
Thierry Gaugain

The G Train is customisable, which means there's even an option to turn one of the cars into a swimming pool or a catwalk for a fashion show.

A rendering of the side view of the G Train.
Thierry Gaugain

Gaugain estimates building all of this could land at around $300 million, even upwards of $350 million (R5.1 billion). 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.

A rendering of the G Train's window.
Thierry Gaugain

The train would then take over two years to build.

A rendering of the G Train's terrace
Thierry Gaugain

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.

A rendering of the G Train in the desert.
Thierry Gaugain

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