Amtrak may be nowhere near as cool as Japan’s ultra-luxe Shiki-Shima train or even France’s art-covered cars, but at least it’s getting a much needed interior refresh. Some 450 commuter trains in Amtrak’s stable are getting new seats, carpets, lighting, upholstery, and a thorough cleaning—all part of a $16 million makeover rolling out over the next six months through the efforts of overnight crews, Quartzy reports.
The interior design of Amtrak trains has remained largely untouched since the 1970s, with the addition of a cool blue-and-grey palette in the 90s. Because the trains aren’t being completely overhauled, the new seats were designed with a retro aesthetic to fit in with remaining ’70s decor, explained Amtrak’s Director of Industrial Design Duncan Copland in an interview with Quartzy.
The faux leather seats provide more lumbar support than current models and are easier to clean. Amtrak currently spends up to $1 million each year spot cleaning seat cushions, and each train’s carpets are swapped out every three months.
For the new design, Amtrak’s team tested out 20 carpeting prototypes before landing on a blue-patterned nylon. Other changes include removal of the seam on the floor of the train bathrooms, and adding a eucalyptus air freshener.