Best thing about the new Olympic Javelin trains is exactly what some people do not like about them:
These trains are coolly stylish. Too cool, perhaps, for some. A number of those who have ridden on the Javelins say that their interiors are too stark: seats do not line up with windows, lighting is antiseptic. There is no provision for catering. The standard-class interiors have been designed to resemble efficient inter-city jet airliner cabins, making maximum use of space and with no concessions to design conceits. This is no-frills railway travel.We must not make living rooms out of public space. To do so is to follow a path that leads directly to Starbuck's "third space" (the relocation of the living room from the home to the cafe). The Victorians understood that private space was not the same as public space, and so their rooms were padded with all sorts of plush things: pretty paintings, purple pillows, the heavy curtains, thick love seats. Public space cannot be anything but the opposite of this type of cocooning of the self. It must be smooth and stark. It must not be cultural but efficient. Particularities meet a space that is unresponsive. You take your seat not as an individual but as a piece of information—a ticket number, a point of departure, a destination.
This picture is by Nick Taylor.