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Step aboard a train designed by Wes Anderson

The Darjeeling Limited
(Image credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Wes Anderson fans who’ve always wanted to step into their own version of the Darjeeling Limited now have the chance. The singular filmmaker has designed his own train carriage for luxury British train operator Belmond – and from tomorrow, you can ride it. 

Wes Anderson Cygnus Carriage

A look at the inside of Anderson's Cygnus carriage for the British Pullman train. (Image credit: Belmond)

The train carriage Anderson was let loose on is known as the Cygnus, and has been part of the British Pullman train since the 1950s. Anderson’s redesign involves a remodelling of the interior to give it a timeless feel that wouldn’t look out of place in one of his movies – a pastel pink ceiling meets intricately patterned green seat covers and carpets. Even the crockery was chosen by Anderson, with a complementary green leaf motif.

Wes Anderson Cygnus carriage

(Image credit: Belmond)

The wood panelling features intricate marquetry work patterned with sunbeams, clouds, stars and waves. There are also several nods to the name of the car, with a swan motif appearing throughout.

And don’t worry, there’s a lot of very satisfying symmetry to be enjoyed in the design of the car. It would hardly be a Wes Anderson project otherwise.

“I have often had the chance to invent train compartments and carriages in my movies,” Anderson said. “So I was very eager to make something new while also participating in the process of preservation which accompanies all the classic Belmond train projects. They are keeping something special alive. An endangered species of travel which is nevertheless very suited to our time.”

Wes Anderson Cygnus carriage

Anderson aboard his Cygnus carriage. (Image credit: Belmond)

Anderson has long been an aficionado of train travel, and The Darjeeling Limited isn’t the only film of his in which a Cygnet-esque locomotive shows up. His 2014 movie The Grand Budapest Hotel also featured multiple pivotal scenes set aboard classically styled trains winding their way across some incredibly picturesque European locations. 

This also isn’t the Cygnet carriage’s first foray into the world of cinema – this particular train car also appeared in the 1972 film Agatha, which starred Dustin Hoffman and Vanessa Redgrave.

The British Pullman travels all over England, and will be setting off from October 13th, shortly before the release of Anderson’s latest movie, The French Dispatch. Ticket prices start at £400, with various packages available including a Sunday lunch and a champagne afternoon tea. 

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Jon Stapley

Jon is a freelance writer and journalist who covers photography, art, technology, and the intersection of all three. Interests include old film cameras, new digital gadgets, and pounding the pavements of London looking for fresh photo opportunities. If he finds any, he will let you know.

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