Co.Design

Concept for U.K. Bullet Train Revealed

PriestmanGoode creates an exterior that harks to a design classic, and an interior that looks like a living room.

Ordinary citizens, when they really, really want something from the government, might picket or protest. But PriestmanGoode are designers--and in fact, some of the best at creating hard-core stuff such as flagship interiors for Swiss and Lufthansa. So to nudge the British government to invest in high-speed rail, they went ahead and designed a full-blown bullet-train concept.

The Mercury Train takes its visual cues from the iconic British Mallard train--perhaps one of the funkiest trains ever made. But here, the lines have been stretched and the nose cone has been elongated, which is a must for any high-speed train that purports to travel at 250 mph. "We've tried to create a new British design icon, like Concorde, the Spitfire or the Routemaster bus," said Paul Priestman, one of the founders of PreistmanGoode.

Meanwhile, the interior of the design is meant to be akin to an open-plan interior, like you'd find in a cutting-edge office. As Priestman says, "It's not about being shoe-horned into a hot and sweaty commuter train." The first-class cabins will feature a bar:

And the train will also have cabins suited to business meetings or family trips, echoing the compartment trains that have all but disappeared from the rails. (The train would even have a children's play area):

For Priestman, the design is actually a functional and ecological benefit: "An iconic train design will be one of the most successful weapons in the battle to persuade people to leave their cars at home," he said. "Train travel needs to be as exciting as flying and as sexy as the latest car."

For our recent story about PriestmanGoode's efforts in hospital design, click here.

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