Sight-seeing: First non-stop sight-seeing train that circles the continental US in one...

...week (Sunday through Saturday).  This is NOT a high-speed train but one that only needs to go fast enough to complete the following route in one week.  The route starts from New York City and must pass through Seattle, Los Angeles, and Miami before returning to New York City.  If it can do it at freight train speeds (45 miles per hour) or slower so much the better.

All passenger cars are double-deck sleeper cars, which are as high as the above route allows and at least as high as a double-stacked container car (a.k.a. "well" car fully loaded), with the cabin’s bedroom and lounge area on the top deck.  This upper deck of the cabin spans the width of the train car and has glass walls, a glass ceiling, and could contain two seating/sleep configurations:
Chairs & Bed: This configuration has four lounge chairs (two on both sides) and a small table in the center.  The bed is at least Queen size and stored up into the wall opposite from the staircase/elevator.  To use the bed, the four lounge chairs and small center table are lowered and flattened to the floor to make up the "box spring" of the bed.  The bed would then be unlocked by train staff and tilted down and locked into position upon the flattened and lowered lounge chairs and lowered center table.  [Passengers will need to leave their cabins for at least a little while to let the train staff prepare their beds for when they want to go to sleep.  Some passengers (likely honeymooners) will option to keep the bed always down.]
Sofa Bed: This configuration has the bed permanently down and instead has a backrest stored up into the wall.  After a sturdy tight-fitting covering is put over the made bed and either tied or snapped into place, the backrest is lowered and snapped into place on top of the bed.  The backrest creating a two-sided sofa out of the bed so passengers can sit on either side to take in either view.  Then when the passengers want to go to sleep, they themselves can (or they can have the car steward) tilt the backrest up into the wall and lock it into place and then remove the bed cover to reveal the made bed underneath.  The bed covering likely stored underneath the bed at the foot of the bed.  The backrest should be also able to be widen or thinned to give passengers more or less seat area on the sofa bed.  Short people will want the backrest widen so their knees are on the edge of the sofa bed's seat area and tall people will want the backrest thinned so more of their thighs rest on the sofa bed's seat area.  In fact, the backrest should be able to have its front half and back half on both sides be adjustable so, for example, couples where the husband is tall and the wife is short can have the backrest adjust so both have seating areas that is comfortable for them.  [Also expect parents of young children to have them only on one side of the sofa bed (putting all their toys, books, stuffed animals, etc. there) so the parents can have a side where they don't have toys, books, stuffed animals, etc. under foot.  And if there's something to see on the parent's side, young children will not hesitate to quickly stand up on their side of the sofa bed to see it.]
For both configurations, on the opposite wall of the one that stores the before-mentioned bed or backrest, there should be an upper twin-size bunkbed that can be unlocked and turned down for the night so couples with small children can all sleep together in the same cabin or three adult friends (e.g., college coeds) can have one of them sleep up in the bunkbed so the three of them can share a cabin together.
On the lower deck of the passenger cabin and taking up only half of the width of the train car, each will have its own private bathroom (toilet and shower), dresser, and closet and a spiral staircase leading up to the upper level of the cabin.  At least one cabin on each passenger car must have a single-person (can hold a wheelchair) elevator in place of a spiral staircase.  Foot traffic on the train occurs on the lower deck and on the side not taken up by the lower part of the passenger cabins.
Each cabin can listen to a variety of different automated tour guides of the areas the train is traveling through, such as guides focusing on geology, US history, Native American history, funny trivia, obscure trivia, regional jokes, regional short stories, regional poetry, regional folklore, etc.  Another cabin radio channel plays the regional folk music of the area and changes as the train moves through the different regions.
A double-deck observational car is located in front of the automated train engines and can be accessed by a glass-enclosed hallway that runs across the top of the engines.  Another double-deck observational car acts as the caboose.  During warm months, a special double-deck observation car is used as the caboose: its upper deck is open to the air for those passengers who would like to experience the wind rushing through their hair.  Using fun "t-shirt" cannons to cast them away from the tracks, passengers can buy mid-air-burst canisters of seed of each region’s native flowers and, under supervision of a train attendant (who sells the canisters), harmlessly fire them into the air to seed the area with native flowers so future train travelers can enjoy their floral generosity.
A double-deck car in the middle of the train contains recumbent exercise bikes (with seatbelts) on its upper deck for those who want to keep in shape.  All of the bikes are pointed outward so their peddlers can continue to enjoy the view; the train car providing plenty of hand-holds and a padded floor in case riders lose their balance while the train goes around a curve or is jostled over a bumpy track.
The dining cars will have their tables on their upper decks (kitchen on the lower deck) and their menus change among regional cuisines as the train travels through the nation’s different regions.  The bar car has its bar, lounge, and piano player on its upper deck and has specials on regional beers, spirits, and wines when traveling through each region.
To win this challenge, the train service must be privately funded and cannot be (a part of) a government program nor receive any government guaranteed loan, subsidy, tax credit, or monopoly.  As for no monopoly, that means any company that wishes to offer and run such a service can do so.  This will bring in competition which will improve service and lower prices for all travelers.

Future Challenges: An identical train as above but always starts from:

1) Los Angeles

2) Chicago

3) Houston

4) Seattle

5) Miami

6) Denver

First TV production company to produce a:

7) TV drama about a fictional sight-seeing train cruise as outlined in the above challenge.  [This could be a land version of "The Love Boat."]  To win this future challenge, the TV show must have finished and aired at least 100 episodes.  [Thus insuring it has a life in re-runs.]

8) TV documentary that documents the design, construction, manning, and launching of one such sight-seeing train.

First above sight-seeing train to continuously go between:

9) New York City and Lisbon, Portugal.  This future challenge will require the Trans-Bering Strait Bridge to be built.  To win this future challenge and to speed up the trip, the train engines cannot be changed while doing this route.  [As they are required to do for the trans-European Orient Express.]

First radio talk show host to champion this challenge and:

10) Gets the CEO of a cruise ship line to come onto the show and officially announce their company is looking into doing this challenge.  To win this future challenge, the cruiseline CEO must have appeared on the show AFTER having had a meeting with the CEOs of all the railroads that would make up such a route where this challenge was discussed.

11) Gets a cruiseline to run a special private train along the proposed route AND the talk show host rides on the train and broadcasts her/his show live from it.  The private train must have at least a sleeping car, kitchen car, dining car, and a caboose lounge car.  The train must do the entire route without stopping.  If the train ever stops (except for at the end of the loop), the host doesn't win this future challenge.

12) Gets a cruiseline CEO to come onto the show and officially announce that they are starting a sight-seeing train as outlined in the original challenge.

13) Airs her/his show from the first full test run of a new sight-seeing train as outlined in the original challenge.  A "full test run" means traveling the entire continental loop.

14) Airs her/his show from the train of the first run with paying passengers of a new sighting-seeing train as outlined in the original challenge.  The host traveling the entire loop with the passengers and broadcasting her/his show live from the train during that week.

15) Travels all seven train routes (original and Future Challenges #1 - #6) and broadcasts her/his show live from each train trip during their week's loop around the continental US.

If you would like to discuss this challenge with others, click here to go to this challenge's discussion forum.

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