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Britain's Train Expert Unveils His Next Transportation Icon

Illustration for article titled Britains Train Expert Unveils His Next Transportation Icon

Paul Priestman, designer of Britain's widely-used Virgin Pendolino train cars, thinks his country is in need of a new transportation icon, one that upholds the legacy of the Rolls Royce and the Concorde. His vision? The double-decker Mercury train.

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Priestman is determined to convince Britain that a high-speed, high-tech train like the Mercury is key to achieving sustainable, low-carbon transportation and invigorating British industry. And like the Rolls and Concorde before it, the Mercury is the intersection of badass engineering and total luxury.

Illustration for article titled Britains Train Expert Unveils His Next Transportation Icon
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The 400 meter long double-decker—if pursued, it would be the country's first—travels at 225 mph, thanks to an extended nose that's "one of the most extreme in the world." It houses traditional commuter seats outfitted with entertainment systems, as well as private compartments, and there's a play area for kids as well as a bar and lounge for bigger kids. 

Illustration for article titled Britains Train Expert Unveils His Next Transportation Icon

But for Priestman, it's not just about zipping people around at 200mph with spirits and in-train entertainment; he sees the Mercury as a "a crucial opportunity to champion British design and engineering in an increasingly competitive global economy." OK, but I still see it as a chance to be zipped around Britain with spirits and in-train entertainment. [Priestmangoode via Dezeen]

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DISCUSSION

Is this a train for the general public or a holiday train like the Orient Express? If its for the general public, the designer needs to be aware of the type of people that use the trains in Britain. The interior [do I see a throw pillow?] he has will be vandalised in no time. I was told that in Japan, the passengers of trains are guests rather than passengers. The importance of this distinction is that it's a privilege of the 'guests' to ride the train rather than a right. If the 'guests' are caught vandalising or littering, they can be banned at the pleasure of the train company with little recourse for the banned. They should implement this rule in the UK too.