Inside The Bullet Train: Vacation Edition
Would people actually go for a vacation on a bullet train? My vision for the bullet train would definitely convince people do that. There are plenty of amazing sights to see in the United States, as well as Canada (when the bullet train expands internationally). From the Great Smoky Mountains on the East Coast to the Rocky Mountains on the West Coast, to the beaches of Florida all the way to Alaska, there will be no limits on where you go to spend your vacation.
You may not know that Amtrak already has vacation trains. It’s true! However, this bullet train will provide a far superior experience by a longshot. I took one example of an Amtrak train that starts in Chicago and goes through Salt Lake City, Yellowstone, Seattle, and Glacier National Park. It’s a 2 week journey that has a variety of accommodations along the way. For 5 nights, you’ll be sleeping in the roomette on the train. Now, there are some cool accommodations included, for instance there’s one night at Glacier Park Lodge and one at the Explorer Cabins at Yellowstone. That’s not bad. However, there’s also one night at the Quality Inn, and two nights at two separate Holiday Inns.
I’m not sure about you… but would you hop on a train or airplane and travel 2,000 miles just to stay at a Quality Inn or Holiday Inn? And also, Amtrak sells this 15 day vacation for $4,000. If I’m dropping that much money on vacation, I’m getting a nicer place to stay than that.
So here’s where the vacation bullet train comes in. Let’s start with the on-board accommodations. You will not feel cramped when you enter your room, for starters. There will be some room to walk around in your room. Depending on the setup, there will be either a king size bed, two queen beds, or two twin beds. Each room will come equipped with a bathroom and shower that feels more like home. In addition there will be soft, relaxing recliners that can spin around facing the window so you can take in the view. Some rooms will even have a large couch to sit on as well. A large flat-screen TV (65 inch) is included equipped to stream all of your favorite movies and TV shows. I’m pretty sure you can’t have all of that on the current Amtrak train.
Rooms will have different sizes available. Some will prefer to have a larger room, others will need it to accommodate more guests. Bigger rooms will include desks. Rooms on the upper level of the train will also include sky windows so you can relax and watch the stars at night (for an added cost, of course).
Each train car will have an average of 8 rooms (4 on the first level, 4 on the second). There will be smaller room arrangements for those travelling solo, and those will estimate to have anywhere between 8-12 rooms on each floor for a total of 16-24 rooms per car. On a popular vacation route, there could be as many as 10 of these cars per train.
Each vacation train will include 1 dining car. Both levels will be utilized for seats, tables, and of course, a place to cook. The estimated seating area between both levels should accommodate about 50 passengers. The menu will be diverse, including healthy, organic choices to choose from, as well as traditional favorites like pizza, burgers, steak, and wings. There will also be a wide range of drinks available from Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Milkshakes, Smoothies, and of course plenty of alcoholic choices as well.
The vacation train will also feature 1 car dedicated to entertainment. This will be mostly a game room. It will feature arcade machines, ski ball, ping pong, board games, TV screens with Xbox One’s, Playstation 4’s, and Nintendo Wii U. There will be tables for people to sit down and play board games.
Another train car will be the socializing car. This is where passengers can meet other passengers or just socialize with family and friends and have a good time. There will be seats at the window of each side of the train for maximum viewing pleasure. Drinks will be allowed in this car, however eating will not be.
And finally, there will be 1 train car dedicated to being a movie theater. Passengers will be able to purchase tickets to see the latest movies being shown at that time. The movie theater car will be available 24 hours a day with movies being shown around the clock. Ideal ticket price for the theater would be about $10. It will be a dine-in theater with reclining seats. Customers will be able to order food and drinks from their seat on their phone and have it delivered to their seat.
So will this be a 300 mph bullet train blowing past the Grand Canyon? I mean, it could go that fast, but when people are trying to take in the views, I don’t think they want to blow right past them at not take in the sight. The purpose of the vacation train is not for speed in this case, it is for the best experience. The train will run at a significantly slower rate of speed. The train will be capable of going 300 mph, but will only be used in emergencies. The average speed will be anywhere from 30-60 mph depending on elevation changes and scenic views. The train will go faster to get to a scenic view faster, and slower when the train is going through the scenic view.
The train will also be making several stops during the daytime. It will park for the night at certain locations with a stunning view. That would be some experience to wake up and look out the window to see something like the Grand Canyon. The route will also have many stations where passengers can get off the train and take in the view, take pictures, etc. Some of these stations will be flat areas or built in decks for observation. Other stations will be connected to the trails so riders can hike along the journey.