Seymourpowell has unveiled its recent conceptual work with Go-Ahead and rolling stock company Angel Trains, creating a 'post-Covid' rail interior with a flexible passenger experience in mind. The team developed concepts to provoke debate about how train interiors of the future should be designed. At the core of each of these concepts is flexibility, providing an environment that effectively adapts to different passenger needs.
To ensure train travel stays relevant in a post-Covid world, the concept explores how best to meet hybrid working demands. The designs feature adjustable seating, fold-out space for laptops and standing-desk spaces. Critically, these spaces can provide high-capacity seating but also be sold as expanded workspaces during off-peak travel times.
Addressing consumers' heightened anxieties around existing train environments, the concept also demonstrates the installation of permanent hand sanitizer dispensers, antimicrobial finishes, and touchless doors.
More space is afforded to luggage and bicycles to encourage leisure travelers to use rail services in favor of the car. But rather than a rigid layout, the same space can convert to seating or a suitable space for standees during busier periods.
This evolution of the train interior caters to the demands of both leisure and commuter passengers, crucially putting the customer experience at the heart of the design, bringing the rail industry up to speed and hopefully helping to secure its future.
"Pre-Covid, there was a clear need for better train travel experience for passengers. Current design formats that only consider dense seating layouts limit the types of service that train operators can offer," commented Jeremy White, Head of Transport at Seymourpowell. "We have long been championing flexible interiors, designed to offer varied service offers, depending on the time of day, routes, or specific customer needs. These more flexible environments for passengers seem more relevant now than they have ever been."
Images: Courtesy of Seymourpowell