BRITISH transport design consultancy PriestmanGoode has unveiled a new train interior designed to improve flexibility for operators in response to the evolving travel patterns caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

PriestmanGoode was awarded funding for the project by the Department for Transport’s (DfT) First of a Kind competition run by Innovate UK. The application was sponsored by Chiltern Railways (CR) and rolling stock leasing company Angel Trains.  A demonstrator was unveiled at London Marylebone station on March 22 to allow passengers to test the new seats and train layout.

The interior includes:

  • a wider, more accessible aisle with 2+2 seating
  • pairs of seats designed for comfort, with tip-up seat pans on the aisle seats allowing passengers to keep luggage or folding bicycles nearby
  • flexible spaces adjacent to all entrance vestibules with longitudinal seating that can be used for multiple purposes depending on demand, and
  • the latest developments in sustainable materials, trims and finishes.

The consultancy says research suggests that future train interiors need to be more flexible to meet different passenger needs at different times of the day or week. There needs to be flexibility built-in for operators to avoid engineering intervention says Mr Son Tran, director at PriestmanGoode.

The project followed a class 165 DMU train layout. CR has a large fleet of these trains, which date from the early-1990s.