Lonely Planet Writer

Gyms, playrooms and video games: on board Germany's future trains

Germany is already renowned for its efficient public transport. Now their train service could be known as one of the most fun as plans are unveiled to turn your regular commute into a memorable experience.

Germans are commuting longer hours than ever. Photo by Andrey Danilovich/Getty Images

The ‘idea train’ is a joint project between rail companies Deutsche Bahn (DB), Bahnland Bayern and innovation company d.lab. The design shows a double-decker train with specially designed compartments designed with different priorities in mind, including work, relaxation, family travel and entertainment.

DB claim that German commuters are travelling for longer distances and time than ever before and want to encourage federal transport authorities to imagine better and more creative spaces.

This fitness room could be a regular part of your train journey. Image by DB

One of the most unusual features in the idea train are sports cabins available for reservation where travellers can use bikes or get training tips from a digital fitness coach. For something a little less strenuous, there is a TV area with a big screen broadcasting news, sports events or documentaries and there are special play and gaming areas too.

Children could be occupied here for their journey. Image by DB

There are also more options for seating. Larger groups could take advantage of new benches that seat six people comfortably, while those wanting to get away from it all can retreat to a relaxation cabin with noise-cancelling armchairs and panoramic views of the scenery whizzing by. There are also dedicated working spaces for people with laptops or tablets.

The concept designs were created with the input of passengers who will now get the chance to test them out and it’s hoped the most successful improvements will be fully realised in the future. “We want to offer our local transport customers more in the future – a new and unique travel experience”, the CEO of DB Regional said in a statement. “That’s why we developed the idea train with completely new design ideas for the vehicle interior.”

Get some peace and quiet on your journey. Image by DB

The company sees the potential improvements as future-proofing the rail industry against self-driving cars, offering customers more options and comfort.