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.
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.
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.”
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.