Trains on Film: The Most Iconic Rail Interior Design in Films of the Last 25 Years

When creating new designs for our rail flooring portfolio, our designers take inspiration from an array of subjects – history, fashion, popular culture, food and more. We’ve recently been looking at how the design of rail carriages feature in film. The interiors in the carriage set can be really powerful in setting the tone of the film – below is a selection of our favourites.

Harry Potter Series – The Hogwarts Express

Hogwarts_3218917cPortrayed in the films by a 1937 Great Western Rail 4900 Class 5972, The Hogwarts emulates classic British rail travel from 1930’s but with a twist. The old world interiors blend together the renowned worlds of wizards and muggles and give a real sense of British nostalgia mixed with the intriguing world of magic. The framed black & white photos and lamps on the compartment walls give a homely and inviting feel to the carriage, offering comfort and coziness.


The Hunger Games Series

Set in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic land in the future, The Hunger Games film series feature a fantastically regal train that boasts a stark contrast to the impoverished districts you see throughout the rest of the film. Designed by Larry Dias and Philip Messina, the interiors overlook is retro-futuristic with an essence of Art Deco. The luxurious blue velvet chairs and gold adornments ooze opulence and luxury in a world of desperation and difficulty. The rich architectural detail was carefully curated by Dias and Messina, who handpicked antique furniture and fabrics to create the extravagant interiors.

katniss hunger games train 2

The Darjeeling Limited

The Darjeeling Limited 2Wes Anderson’s The Darjeeling Limited features possibly the most memorable train carriage interiors in film. Designed by Mark Friedberg, the train was borrowed from Indian Railways and refitted with interiors to capture the vibrant culture of India. What is really memorable about this train in particular are the bold and citrus hues used to bring the carriage interiors to life. The spirited orange and yellow tones clash favourably to create idyllic frames throughout the film whilst the summer shades of blue offer a more relaxing – yet still exciting – presence. Linking these opposing tones and hues together is the hand-painted diamond pattern that features from floor to ceiling and threads through into the seating fabric.

The Darjeeling Limited 3The Darjeeling Limited

Murder on the Orient Express

Probably one of the most iconic train films in existence, Murder on the Orient Express was in most part filmed on actual Orient Express carriages from the 1930’s, further enhancing the setting of the film and bringing it to life. The over-embellishment of the carriages creates a decadent atmosphere and embeds a feeling of true luxury and style from the iconic era it is set in. The Art Deco pattern on the plush arm chairs in rich red and sophisticated beige are a prominent feature in the opulent interior design scheme. The glass panels that adorn the Orient Express carriages were created by Rene Lalique in the 1920’s which offset the carriage’s mahogany walls perfectly, encapsulating the essence of Art-Nouveau style.



SpectreThe train carriage featured in Spectre emulates a high-end New York restaurant in the 1990s, mirroring the suave sophistication of 007. The white table cloths and Art Deco lamps depict classic and refined decor and somewhat echo the interiors of the infamous restaurant scene in Goodfellas. The low lighting sets of the olive green jacquard seating fabric wonderfully and creates understated tones of luxury and elegance.

Spectre 2Spectre 3


One comment

  1. Once you start to look for train imagery you find it everywhere. We have a huge love affair with the train and the romanticism it portrays. If you are a fan of James Bond then you will find a train scene featured in almost every film, the opening scene in Skyfall, the latest fight scene in Spectre, From Russia with Love and even Live and Let die. Somehow the train is perceived to be part of the action and adventure.Even in TV advertising, it is linked with Chocolate, sex and Romance.
    I have no idea where this association comes from but marketing and entertainment have certainly picked it up and are the likely culprits of it all.

    Liked by 1 person

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