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November 14, 2017

If the trains of the future look like Deutsche Bahn’s Idea Train, get on board

by John_A

Locomotives may just come back into vogue. That is, if Deutsche Bahn’s concept for its “Idea Train” comes to fruition. While your preferred method of transportation today may not be the train, that could soon change with the debut of this incredibly futuristic design. Combining sleeping pods, noise-canceling chairs (that’s right, not just headphones), and even a digital fitness coach for your workout regimen, this train might make your commute more enjoyable than your actual job.

Known as the “Ideenzug,” this train is decked out with more features than even the most hip startup office. Doing away with the traditional setup of rows upon rows of seats, the Idea Train instead features a host of seating options, including swivel chairs that will either allow you face forward or backward. If you’re not looking to settle in, however, there are also benches and folding seats available for shorter rides.

For folks hoping to get some work done on the train, the Ideenzug comes with built-in tablet stands and privacy pods, so you can focus as you prepare for your meeting. Alternatively, for folks looking for a workout, there’s a fitness studio that comes complete with exercise bikes and a virtual trainer. Even kids will be able to occupy themselves on this train, as there are game consoles and a “play paradise” available for the younger tots.

Conceptualized by Christoph Kraller, who heads Deutsche Bahn’s regional train subsidiary “Südostbayernbahn,” this new-age train is intended to make train travel a more enticing prospect, especially as technologies like self-driving cars threaten the very existence of commuter rails. But as Dr. Jörg Sandvoß, the CEO of Deutsche Bahn noted, “We want to offer our local transport customers more in the future — a new and unique travel experience. That’s why we developed the Idea Train with completely new design ideas for the vehicle interior. Our goal is that the public transport commuters think about such ideas in their future tenders.”

Though it’s unclear whether this concept will ever see the light of day, it appears that officials are quite impressed by the mere idea. As Dr. Johann Niggl, spokesman the Bavarian Railways Company noted, “The mobility behavior of commuters in Germany is changing rapidly. Passengers expect comfort and individuality and want to use their time wisely. Vehicles must be suitable for mass transportation and highly reliable, but at the same time comfortable and individual. I therefore welcome the fact that DB Regio faces up to this challenge and develops the Idea Train.”

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