Britain's Train Expert Unveils His Next Transportation Icon

Paul Priestman, designer of Britain's widely-used Virgin Pendolino train cars, thinks his country is in need of a new transportation icon, one that upholds the legacy of the Rolls Royce and the Concorde. His vision? The double-decker Mercury train.

Priestman is determined to convince Britain that a high-speed, high-tech train like the Mercury is key to achieving sustainable, low-carbon transportation and invigorating British industry. And like the Rolls and Concorde before it, the Mercury is the intersection of badass engineering and total luxury.

The 400m long double-decker - if pursued, it would be the country's first - travels at 362km/h, thanks to an extended nose that's "one of the most extreme in the world". It houses traditional commuter seats outfitted with entertainment systems, as well as private compartments, and there's a play area for kids as well as a bar and lounge for bigger kids. 

But for Priestman, it's not just about zipping people around at 362km/h with spirits and in-train entertainment; he sees the Mercury as a "a crucial opportunity to champion British design and engineering in an increasingly competitive global economy". OK, but I still see it as a chance to be zipped around Britain with spirits and in-train entertainment. [Priestmangoode via Dezeen]