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Starbucks' new store is a train car

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Starbucks seems to be everywhere.  Now, with its latest store it's getting closer to that reality. But instead of taking over street corners it's looking to find success on rails.

Later this week, Starbucks is planning to launch its first store on a train when its new coffee store train car is added to the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) route from the Geneva Airport to St. Gallen in Switzerland. The double-decker train car has seating for 50 people.

As Liz Muller, director of concept design for Starbucks, said designing a Starbucks for such a small place wasn't easy, even for a coffee giant that thrives in an urban environment where space isn't always readily available.

"It was an incredible and rewarding challenge to design our first ever Starbucks store on a train," said Muller. "We had to combine functionality and beautiful design, whilst taking into account a variety of factors such as constant movement of the train, space limitation and stringent safety regulations. This is one of the smallest espresso bars and stores we have ever designed."

But it's hardly a surprise to see Starbucks take on unusual store designs. In the past we've seen Starbucks inside shipping containers, and as Seattle PI points out, Starbucks have opened aboard a U.S. Navy ship, cruise ships, and along a ski slope.

But as with many innovative business practices, this latest venture from Starbucks is only a test. As USA Today reminds us, a new Starbucks train won't be on your next rail journey anytime soon, unless you're in Switzerland.

Photo: Starbucks

— By on November 18, 2013, 12:16 PM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure