Coachella Express train

As we’ve reported in the past, music festivals across the country are making moves to be more sustainable — mostly involving recycling efforts, compostable utensils, and biodiesel generators. But this year’s Coachella music festival, held in Indio, Calif., April 25-27, took an interesting track, chartering an Amtrak train to transport festival folk to and from L.A.

The Coachella Express was set up by the creative minds behind Global Inheritance, a group focusing its attentions on a young, hip, festival-going audience, and involved creating a new train platform in Indio to accommodate the arriving campers. For the 300+ riders who took advantage of it, the round-trip journey was free — and well worth it …

As train rides go, it was definitely a trip. Fashionably scruffy L.A. music fans, many scanning their text messages more than the view out their windows, chugged Coronas, ate free ice cream and bobbed to the thumping beats of four disc jockeys set up in corners of the six-car express train. It was a decidedly 21st century remix of the classic concert road trip and, more than that, a symbol of the gathering new momentum of the festival as a pop-culture force.

Bonus: Passengers were also given free VIP passes for the festival. Talk about an engine of change …

Oh, and for those of you keeping tabs on it, the pig on wings has landed.