Sunday, 18 July 2010

The IEP is dead - long live Mercury

Telegrammed by Leo Pink
Full marks for timing to Industrial Stylists Priestmangoode.

The whizzy design house obviously had some spare time on the Computer Graphics terminal and come up with this totally impractical, but amazingly sexy, front end for what they claim is the concept for the UK’s newest high speed train.

We love the six inch high multipane windscreen which looks as if it was cribbed from the Starship Enterprise.

Or, could those be disco lights underneath an amazingly swept back windscreen.

It's been unveiled as a pre-emptive move to persuade the government of the urgent need to move forward as soon as possible with the high speed line project.

Called Mercury, its progenitors say it could be the 'new Great British design icon, following in the footsteps of Concorde, the Spitfire, Rolls Royce and the Routemaster bus and reawakening Britain’s authority as a global leader in design and technology'.

Shouldn't Kenneth Grange's timeless IC125 front end be in that list?

According to the aponymous Paul Priestman, 'designer of the iconic Virgin Pendolino' "whilst the economic and political benefits of a world-class high speed rail network are clearly understood, having a train to be proud of is equally important".

If only Stuart Baker had thought of building national pride into IEP's incredible shrinking Benefit Cost Ratio!

But forget the exterior of the train, "designed to emulate design classics such as Concorde, the Spitfire and Rolls Royce", what about the interior? Grab this!!

Introducing an entirely new concept in the way we travel, the train will incorporate a flexible, open plan design allowing for interaction, space and relaxation without compromising privacy. Both commuting and longer haul journeys will be more relaxed, comfortable and akin to modern living, featuring traditional commuter seats (designed to incorporate in-transit entertainment systems) alongside private berths – for families, private parties or business meetings echoing the nostalgia of compartmental train travel. A children’s play area will be integrated into the train and a luxury first class section will mirror the choice offered to air travellers with a luxury lounge and bar.

At last the pleas of the sage of Effingham Junction for compartmental stock have fallen on a receptive ear.

Can it ever happen?

Well as Priestmangoode point out. "Britain has an unrivalled record of great transport engineering projects – a record that died with Concorde".

Along with 75 Germans, if we recall rightly.