The Seattle Times calls it the fastest-moving Starbucks in the world. The product of a partnership between Swiss rail company SBB and Starbucks made its “first public trip” in mid-November on a two-hundred-mile-plus trip between Geneva and St. Gallen in Switzerland.The Seattle Times describes the train, “Emblazoned with a giant version of the ubiquitous green mermaid logo, the double-decked car represents the latest Starbucks flirtation with unorthodox coffee-shop concepts — which the company says allows it to connect with coffee drinkers in novel ways. A local (nonmoving) example: Last year the company opened a drive-through in Tukwila made out of reclaimed cargo containers.” The article also quotes Starbucks director of concept design Liz Muller, who says it took the better part of two years to replicate the “Starbucks experience” in a rapidly moving train. “We’ve never done anything that traveled at this speed,” she said, but the design team seems to have thought of everything, according to the Times. “To keep customers — and their laptops — safe from spilling hot beverages, tables have indentations to help cups stay in place during the jiggly moments when the train pulls into a station. Designers also had to negotiate how to cram all the espresso-making machinery — and inviting seating space — into a cramped rectangle where people are always on the move.“ Don’t expect this train to come rolling through any stateside stops just yet, but if the concept catches on, who knows what it might do for the railroad commute here in the USA?
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