5 train carriage interiors from history that we love

The beauty of train carriage interiors is that they have the power to change the entire experience of a journey as well as the perception of the rail operator brand. For example, SNCF’s train carriage interiors create a cool and sleek vibe whilst The Orient Express exudes luxury. As a floor covering supplier to rail vehicles around the world, we often look to trains from the past to inspire our latest designs and collections. Here are five of our favourite train interior design schemes from times gone by…

BR Class 101 – 1950’sDMU 101 1980s 2
“Built in the late 1950’s the BR Class 101 typified 1980’s rail travel for me. By which time they were obviously dated. Although never considered luxury they had a certain something and where full of classic design features from the deco style First class ‘armchairs’ to the ‘flying saucer’ ceiling lights and the fantastic cast aluminium luggage racks that I would still love to have at home. I spent countless hours travelling this way, reading penguin classics, listing to the Smiths and watching the Silk cut smoke coil out of the centre opening sliding window.” – Jason Holmes, Head of Textile Design

Pullman Palace Car – 1859
1859 - 1951 pullman carriage.jpg
“The Pullman Palace cars built in the mid 1800’s are the epitome of luxury. The lavish baroque interiors ooze elegance and add a whole other dimension to train travel, creating more of an experience for passengers rather than a way of getting from A to B. Morning commutes to work would be a lot more enjoyable if I could travel in this much style!” – Chloe Taylor, Marketing

TGV Duplex – 1995TGV Duplex“My favourite train interior has to be from the early French TGV duplex. Travelling at high speed through Europe always has a certain excitement and mystic and this interior evokes memories of French cinema and kind of quirky design you only seem to find in France. I love the colour scheme, the contrast of materials and the reclining mono seats. That together with a bar you can stand and chat at always made for a memorable journey.” – David Breen, Product Manager

ICE – 1998 onward
The ICE always reminds me of Germany in January travelling between trade shows in Hannover and Munich. The journey always offers some ‘me’ time, a chance for rest, recuperation and a little refreshment. The interior is cool, understated and as functional as you would expect from the German national railway and there is a certain reassurance in that quality!” – Sarah Ludlam, Senior Designer

The Rocky Mountaineer Goldleaf – 1995
rocky mountaineer gold leaf carriage.jpg
What I really like about this train, build ahead of its time, is how it brings the outside in with its glass-domed rail cars, allowing its passengers to see the breath taking panorama views to their best. It is spacious and comfortable with high ceilings and a large amount of glass ensuring maximum light within the carriage. It’s simple and natural tones used on interior furnishing along with the overall design, making it a mode of travel that is perfect for true relaxation and viewing.” – Jemma Masters, Marketing Manager

Learn more about Forbo Flooring Systems’ flooring portfolio for the rail industry.

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