Inside The Bullet Train: Sleeper Car Edition

The next time of train being serviced by the bullet train is a sleeper train. This is for long distance train rides over 2,000 miles in length. This would not be a mainstream route but would service those who are looking to travel long distance and have an opportunity to relax along the route.

There will be different types of rooms, depending on the level of ticket purchased. The cheapest tickets will feature a bunk bed arrangement with twin size memory foam mattresses. All bunks will include electrical ports and USB ports for charging phones. The size would be relatively small but would give passengers a chance to stretch and sleep.

For those wishing to upgrade and have more space, they can get a small room without a bunk that includes a queen size mattress as well as a small bathroom and shower. It would not be anything luxurious but would allow more privacy for those that want that. Basic linens like towels and shampoo would be provided. It would be very comparable to a 2 or 3 star hotel room.

The best rooms to buy are the luxury suites, which will be all-inclusive. Unlimited drinks and food are included. Room service would also be included. Not only would there be the most comfortable kind of mattress, but a large flat screen smart TV, a reclining chair, a desk, and a chair would be included. A small kitchenette would be in the room for those who wish to cook while riding.

So that all sounds great, right? What would be the best, most ideal way for a commuter to utilize this train? First, it would be the train’s scheduling to take full advantage. Let’s say you had to go from New York to Los Angeles, which would be roughly 2,800 miles. A train averaging 300 miles per hour could complete the trip in just 9 hours and 20 minutes. The train would depart from New York at around midnight local time. It would arrive in Los Angeles at 6 in the morning (3 hour time change). Likewise, a train leaving Los Angeles would have to leave at 7pm to arrive at 6am local time in New York.

This means you could have a place to sleep without the hassle of waking up at 3, 4, or 5am to try and catch an early morning flight. You could go to the train station, board the train, and get into a comfortable bed, get a good night’s sleep, and be ready for the workday in the morning.

Sure, you can do that on an airplane on a red eye flight. And anyone is welcome to do that. For one thing though, there is no privacy on most airlines offering sleeping beds. If available, you would have to order a first class seat to get any privacy. Many people also have trouble sleeping on an airplane especially at such high altitude. And if you encounter any turbulence, that would not create a good experience for the passenger.

But don’t trains move back and forth too? Yes, Amtrak trains do. They’re used on mostly borrowed freight tracks that have been well used and are uneven. My proposed bullet train would attack that problem in three ways: The first would be to build its own dedicated rail system that would be smooth, with limited elevation changes and curves. The second would be to build wide rail gauge tracks. The wider that is, the more unlikely the train will sway back and forth. And third, it would have a weight mechanism similar to the ones used in skyscrapers to balance the weight of the train (on a much smaller scale, of course). It would have sensors on it to detect how much weight is being shifted to one side or the other, and automatically move to the other side to balance the train. Train rides are about to get a whole lot smoother on this bullet train.

Brian Cole

I'm Brian and I'm the founder of TransportationOfTomorrow.com. I have a strong passion for fixing America's transportation infrastructure problem and traffic flow issues. I ultimately want to see the American economy grow as far as it will go, create massive amounts of jobs, and in that way help the quality of how people live.

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