Future concept train design trends (III): high luxury interior
The future is here, Mr.matt take you to see the future development trend of train design

In the future concept train design trends series, matt mentioned that the future concept train design trends are divided into four points, which are.

-Overturning traditional perceptions

-Functional segmentation

-High luxury interior

-More future technologe


In the last two issues, Mr. Matt introduced the two trends of subversion of traditional perceptions and functional segmentation, I wonder which concept train you are most impressed and interested in?


Today, Matt continues to introduce the third trend in the design of future concept trains: high luxury interior.

In the first industrial revolution in the 18th century, the world's first steam locomotive was born in the "steam age".

In 1825, Stephen Sun, the Englishman who invented the steam locomotive, personally drove a train with 34 small carriages on a successful trial, after a long time, the style of the train is relatively fixed, relatively slow to update.

China has experienced the era of great development of moving trains and high-speed trains, but there are still many green and red trains still running on the track, and in many countries in the world, there are also many old and heavy pollution trains still in operation.

Many people in many countries around the world are still impressed by the appearance and interior of the trains, and most of them still stay in the old facilities, dirty environment and general hygiene.

previewTraditional green carriage interiors

image source: Independent photographer (Mexican wine)

With the development of economy and technology, generations of train designers have been pursuing, exploring and breaking through in the technology and appearance of trains, and trying to innovate, so that trains can have more beautiful design and more comfortable experience from appearance to interior.

Compared to the trains, the airplanes and yachts, which started later, have benefited from the development of the times and technology to bend over the trains, and have developed faster in industrial design and accumulated a lot of experience.

As large transport vehicles, yachts, trains and airplanes, assume an important transportation role in sea, land and air environments, and at the same time, have inextricable commonalities in terms of scale, cost and capacity. Therefore, the accumulated industrial design experience of airplanes and yachts can now be applied to the design of trains, and many train designers will use this as a reference point when designing trains.

From top to bottom: layout of superyachts, high-speed trains and high-capacity passenger aircraft Image source: Google Images

In the design of yachts, airplanes and trains, whether it is the function of the area (such as: driver's room, cabin area, bathroom area, bath area, barrier-free service area, etc.); or the supporting equipment (such as: USB charging, clothing hooks, seat fabric and color selection, personal placement platform, etc.); the overall atmosphere planning and design (such as: the main and auxiliary light source arrangement, the overall interior paint reflectivity, the design of the riding environment and the relationship between the eye movement of passengers, etc.); the overall "long and thin" layout, the rational allocation and utilization of space, the analysis of the flow of people. The design of the overall atmosphere (e.g. the arrangement of main and auxiliary lighting sources, the overall reflectivity of the interior paint, the relationship between the primary and secondary design of the riding environment and passenger eye movements, etc.); the overall "long and thin" layout, the rational allocation of space, and the analysis of pedestrian flow. All these major design points are similar, interchangeable and worthy of mutual reference.

Thanks to the efforts of train designers, the design of train interiors has come a long way. From 1953, when the first green car was produced in New China, the Type 21 passenger car, to today's world-renowned Chinese high-speed rail, the Fuxing high-speed rail business class, which is being experienced by all the major netizens, this period of change from nothing to something, from something to something excellent is actually just over sixty years.

China Railway Type 21 Coaches_China Railway Museum Image Source: Baidu Encyclopedia

Fuxing highland internal electric dual source power concentrated locomotive set business seat      Image source: Global Information Network

So, what are designers thinking about the future of train design now? Follow matt to find out!



The Shikijima train with Japanese aesthetic intention

The East Japan Railway Company (JR EAST) delivered an excellent answer in June 2014 that many train designers will still use as a reference until now.

Four Seasons Train Concept Group Image Source: East Japan RailwayCo.


The Train Suite Shikishima program has finally been successfully launched and has been in operation since May 1, 2017.

A photo of the interior of the Four Seasons Island train Source: The PrivateTraveller

A comparison of the concept drafts shows that Japan has respected and preserved the designer's ideas and design intentions to a great extent in the craftsmanship and production of this piece of train.

The design concept of the Shikisima train is to allow passengers to deeply experience the beauty of Japan's four seasons and regions, to feel the essence of nature, and to feel that Japan is a country full of culture, wisdom and life.

What matt likes is the fifth car in the middle of the train - Komorebi, a special lounge with the theme of trees.

Four Seasons Island train lounge Komorebi car layout
image source:TrainSuite Shiki - shima

Komorebi is the Japanese romanization of "木漏れ日", meaning the sunlight scattered between the leaves.

Designer Kiyoyuki Oyama has created a design in which curved panels interlock and overlap to create the idea of branches reaching up to the sky and the sun and moon shining through them into the carriage.

A fireplace in the lounge and a piano are also provided for relaxation, and train staff are on hand 24 hours a day at the lounge bar, where guests can enjoy a drink or meal at any time.

Kiyoyuki Oyama has created an overall design that allows passengers to enjoy all five senses (sight, sound, body, smell and taste) to the fullest.


Close-up of Komorebi, the lounge of the Four Seasons Island train

Image Source:TrainSuite Sshiki - Shima

Introduction video for each carriage of the Four Seasons Island train   Source:youtube


Atmospheric business interiors - Hitachi concept high-speed train interior solutions

In 2015, Hitachi Hitachi Rail Europe unveiled a conceptual high-speed train interior scheme at the UK's flagship rail trade show.

Japan is renowned for its early and rapid development of high speed rail technology, which is well developed and mature. Hitachi, as the head company in the Japanese high speed rail industry, has solid expertise in supplying rolling stock for HS1 and Japan's Shinkansen trains, and on the basis of this solid expertise, Hitachi has done extensive and detailed user research and passenger research to produce these train design solutions.

The interiors of these high-speed trains are divided into first class and standard passenger class designs.

Concept First Class Design  Image Source:mynewdesk.com



Visual upper part of the first class space: the top panel detailing is hollowed out to create the premium atmosphere of a starry sky roof in champagne nude
Visual centre of the first class space: seats in glossy leather finish in champagne-like colours
Visual centre of the first class space: highly reflective mirrored material with more visual impact
The visual lower part of the first class cabin: the champagne-like floor leather styling on the bottom has a technological feel and echoes the top colour.

In terms of colour palette, the first class cabin is mainly designed in different shades of nude champagne as a whole, and the lighting is designed with this shade as the main light source.

Until now in 2021, the nude champagne shade is also one of the main colours of the trend colours.

Unlike the previous preference for white as the main colour for interior walls in the design of high speed railways, white, although visually presenting a clean and tidy feeling, also tends to make people feel monotonous and dull.

In colour studies, the nude champagne colour is actually a warm and slightly rosy hue made up of traces of yellow and magenta. In a warm lighted atmosphere, the delicate shine and sense of colour can be fully expressed, allowing travellers to feel a sense of tranquillity, elegance and delicacy.

This visual impression has been applied to the First Class seats, lighting and ceiling panels, and the techno line details are outlined in a champagne-like colour on the dark floor leather, which not only echoes the colours but also the overall luxury atmosphere.

Concept Standard Class interior design   image Source:mynewdesk.com
Detail of the visual upper part of the standard cabin space: top panel in plain lacquer finish, in light coral

Detail of the visual centre of the standard cabin space: the seats have a matte leather finish and are ordered in an interlocking blue and white colour scheme for a business-like feel

Standard cabin visual lower section: champagne-like floor leather styling on the underside with dotted gradient sequencing for a lively jump

Compared to the First Class interior environment, the overall high luxury of the standard cabin space is significantly reduced, with a business modern feel prevailing.

From the upper part of the visual space: the standard cabin roof panel does not have the detailed hollowing and translucent treatment of the first class roof panel; from the central part of the visual space, the matt leather tends to be more lived-in and everyday. From the design point of view, the smaller the refractive index of the material, the less luxurious and atmospheric feeling will be reduced in equal measure; from the lower part of the space vision, the dotted gradient sorting design of the floor leather is more vivid and lively, with a strong sense of rhythm, which suits the general daily aesthetics of most of the passengers.


The "Twilight Morning Glory", a luxury sleeper designed for the European and American markets

Twilight Train Interior Design - by Aaron Yong (Singapore)
Silver Award in the Global Rail Vehicle Innovation Design Competition 2016

In 2016, Aaron Yong from Singapore also won the Silver Award in the Global Rail Vehicle Innovation Design Competition for his outstanding understanding and presentation of the interiors of future trains.


Aaron Yong's design focuses on a slightly shimmery champagne colour, interspersed with mid-tones of tan woodgrain, and warm yellow light as the main light source, creating a high business feel while creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for travellers to relax and take a nice break.


Sketches of the Twilight train interior and overall renderings

In a place where space is limited, the designers have taken full account of space utilisation and the need to increase the number of passengers in a single carriage, and have designed each sleeping car space with a reasonable space allocation, making the overall space more flexible and functional to meet the daily needs of different people in different usage scenarios (e.g. sitting, sleeping, working, communication between two and more people, etc.).

Well, that's the end of this design sharing, which design do you like? If you have any good examples, please feel free to share them with Mr.Matt!