Public transportation is generally a get-‘er-done business; the seats of commuter trains are not known for their luxe upholstery, nor the walls for their intricately designed art. But leave it to Paris to put together the most luxurious rail car you’ve ever seen:
If that reminds you of a French palace, that may be because it’s modeled after Versailles. You know, that little chateau out in the country where Louis the Sun King and Marie Antoinette lived?
The train looks like Versailles because it goes to Versailles:
Ever since May, passengers on the RER C line traveling between the Palace and the capital city have indulged in their opulent surroundings. The refurbishments, which involved layering the walls of the train with a high-tech plastic film, create replications of seven different palace areas including the Hall of Mirrors, Marie-Antoniette’s estate, the formal gardens, and even a mock library in one of the train cars.
It’s a commuter train, so there’s no cafe car, and it won’t let you eat cake. But maybe you can bring your own. Or, for a revolutionary twist, beheading-themed cake pops!
Now, as a person who has recently been to Paris and braved the tourist hordes trying to get to Versailles, I can tell you that not all RER C cars are this nice. But I would recommend that anyone making the visit aim to get on one. You’ll probably get a better idea of what the palace looks like on the train than when you actually get there and have to shuffle through the halls with the hundreds of other people who thought they were going to beat the crowd by getting there right when the palace opens.