This reminds me of the conversation last year about the viability of the Overland and what might be required to make it more appealing to the public.
My impression of the refurbished Overland cars was not particularly good - it was a make-over with new plush fittings but not much else - the seats weren't even new as I recall. I think if you are aiming for long-haul to be competitive you need to offer something special for either tourists, gunzels or the regular public - something a bit higher quality or more appealing?
It would be interesting to know what sort of average speed/long haul services are successful overseas, be it 'vintage' rolling stock or new.
Yes that was what I was trying to point out you have to have something a bit more special than what is elsewhere to get the general public to ride your train. It also has to be done tastefully as well. Modern plastic fantastic interiors though just do not cut the mustard with most people as they usually look drab and uninviting. Easy to clean though.
Our Flexity trams here are a case in point they look inside very drab and uninviting up against the Citadis trams which are light and spacious a lot more! The inside of a Fexity is standard plastic fantastic almost and very dull inside in nearly all dark grey colours. While the Citadis interior has a lot more of white used and it is brighter and feels more airy and spacious inside as well. They are both modern types though but the Flexity is now looking very drab against the Citadis trams! It does not take long to do this though, they are still well kept but the gloss has gone off them now that the public is used to them.
People here are now moaning that even the 3000/3001 trains are old hat but they are still light years in front of a Jumbo interior which are very cramped and dull. To most that have used trains as a means of transport for decades and this includes me, I cannot really see what they are whinging about. Anything is better than an old Brill railcar set or even a Red Hen set. They all want Rolls Royce interior standards for railcars, but unfortunately it is never going to happen though.
But getting back to the actual subject at hand you need something extra special to get the general public to ride any train that is not a regular service type of train. Things like sleeping cars, dining cars, observation cars, or even entertainment cars. All of which are missing on the Overland service which is really only a glorified bus service now!
The Orient Express train is one such example of going the extra mile to get people to ride a train, it gives good old fashioned service in cars that make you feel you have stepped back in time but are up to modern standards though, but it comes at a price!