In America, the story of high-speed rail generally focuses on the red tape that surrounds developing new forms of infrastructure (“new” being a relative term.) In Europe, Asia and even Australia, the function leads to new beautiful forms. It’s not just about getting from place to place; your traveling “space” should inspire. This week’s High Speed Rail news brings you a stunning pictorial of a train transformed into a French palace and an Australian train dressed up as a muscle car. Plus, two stories of fast tracks trying to break ground here in the states. Frankly, we just want to go fast, the train need not look like the Hall of Mirrors (although it would be nice.)
French Trains Palatially Transformed: Imagine on your daily commute being surrounded by lavish, ornate interiors like those in Versailles, the world’s largest royal domain. Head over to France, where the inside of some RER C rail line trains will transport people between the chateau and Paris in the same splendid motifs found at the palace. From Marie Antoinette’s music pavilion to the library of Louis XIV, the carriages in these trains replicate the grandeur.
Nearly eight million people travel between Melbourne and Sydney each year, and that number is set to double in the next quarter century. In order to meet the demand of these commuters and travelers, international design firm Hassell Studios recently unveiled a double-decker train concept that may revolutionize the way Aussies travel. The wild look is inspired by the HK Monaro, a 1960s muscle car, and could travel around 250mph. The long term plans could alleviate more than urban congestion…
An innovative Amtrak “bullet” train proposal calls for an 18-mile tunnel under the Long Island Sound. The University of Pennsylvania School of Design and bastion of smart Ivy kids has put the idea on paper and Amtrak is interested. The tunnel would go from Bridgeport to Terryville on Long Island, and the design calls from 87 miles of tunnels among more than 800 miles of new track. Is this plan doomed to…sink?
Probably best known as the builder of the Bellagio, the Mirage and Wynn Las Vegas, Marnell is also a key figure in the development of XpressWest, the high-speed rail system planned between Sin City and the City of Angels. In a recent interview, he talked about the status of the project, its history and the misconceptions surrounding, what some consider, a losing bet.