Train design - what next?

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PR1Berske

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From the hard-back seats/coaches on wheels to plush seating and electronic displays, what next for Class ??? trains in the UK?

In seat entertainment? Backs-to-the-window seat layout configurations? Pret-a-Manger trolleys? Double-deckers?

Forum, it's over to you...
 
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Simon11

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From the hard-back seats/coaches on wheels to plush seating and electronic displays, what next for Class ??? trains in the UK?

In seat entertainment? Backs-to-the-window seat layout configurations? Pret-a-Manger trolleys? Double-deckers?


Forum, it's over to you...





I don't believe any of that will happen. More likely lighter trains and being more efficent energy wise.
Hopefully invent one coupler so all types of stock could work together.
 

Class377/5

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From the hard-back seats/coaches on wheels to plush seating and electronic displays, what next for Class ??? trains in the UK?

In seat entertainment? Backs-to-the-window seat layout configurations? Pret-a-Manger trolleys? Double-deckers?

Forum, it's over to you...
The next generation of trains such as the class 700 will include wifi, plugs and video as well as text based information displays.

As for seating, well that's down to personal tastes. I find the 377/5 comfortable for long journeies (I've done Bedford - Brighton in a single ride).

Double dockets aren't likely yet tho didn't one of the RUS state moving to 16 cars would cost simlar to double decker? Other major issue with double dockers is dwell time at stations is expected to increase mean less trains can run (as amount if people using doors decreases) meaning you lose capacity.
 

tsr

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From the hard-back seats/coaches on wheels to plush seating and electronic displays, what next for Class ??? trains in the UK?
I'd say a good deal of the focus now needs to be on making sure people can get one of these seats, rather than having to stand - I feel a lot of the investment for the time being really needs to be in the areas of making trains and platforms longer, and enabling higher frequencies, even in areas where traditionally this has been ignored.

In seat entertainment?
FGW have already selected this option on a few of their trains. Will it be expanded to other services? I think more and more intercity trains will have it over the next few years, but at the same time I think greater numbers of carriages with wifi, and seats with power sockets, should be a priority!

Backs-to-the-window seat layout configurations?
If it works on LO 378s, then I see no reason why this cannot be expanded to other stock used for metro-style services on the NR network. Obviously, a great deal of the LU stock already has this feature.

There was a suggestion on the forum recently that 2+2 (rather than 2+3) becomes a standard layout on commuter services, with wider aisles providing more room for standing passengers. This might also help with wheelchair access throughout trains.

Pret-a-Manger trolleys?
I'd love that, but the new options that I hear are available on the Settle & Carlisle and one or two of the open-access operators' trains are a start!

Double-deckers?
Not without a colossal investment in much larger loading gauges, or a clever way to put the floors of passenger seating vehicles closer to the trackbed than ever before!

Forum, it's over to you...
I'd like to see:

- More luggage areas - perhaps between back-to-back seats.
- Slightly larger bins - possibly even a limited range of recycling facilities.
- Carriages with "carriage-end" doors abolished on commuter routes.
- Better First Class options on medium-distance commuter services.
- Unit interconnection doors by default.
- A significant number of third-rail/diesel-electric hybrid units (in the event of power failure on busy third-rail routes, this could be a very good backup, plus some routes near third-rail territory are not yet electrified).
 
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Oswyntail

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I think that designers for medium to long distance stock will come to realise that the car is their main competition, and improve the ambience of their product to match that. I doubt seat-back entertainment will catch on, because so many people are carrying their own, but designs that make it convenient to run a laptop, mount a phone etc. Lightweight materials will make longer trains with more space more viable. Surprisingly, this may see a return to LHCS, again improving the ambience. Views from windows will also be seen to be more important. Medium to long journeys will become an all-round leisure experience.
Short run, non-commuter services will see some of the benefits of this in increased seat comfort and less Spartan surrounding.
For pure commuters, the challenge will, as ever, be to cram ever increasing numbers into a finite space. I suspect there will be more emphasis on standing room at first. The aim will eventually be to increase headways with more automation, and speed turn round at terminals.
 

jopsuk

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I don't think seat back entertainment will gain any traction- with the incrase in prevalance of laptops, smartphones and tablets I think a majority of travellers would rather have power sockets and high speed wifi. I know FGW have their trial coaches, but I see no future for it. Look what happened to the "radio" systems on Virgin when mp3 players took hold properly.
 

MarkyT

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From the hard-back seats/coaches on wheels to plush seating and electronic displays, what next for Class ??? trains in the UK?

In seat entertainment? Backs-to-the-window seat layout configurations? Pret-a-Manger trolleys? Double-deckers?

Forum, it's over to you...
As far as entertainment goes, the trend is that people carry their own. A larger display screen into which one could plug one's device would be cool though, as well as wi-fi and power sockets.

LO 378 units have back to window seats already. Good for keeping feet off seats and maximising standing room, but only suitable for short urban journeys.

I love Pret a Manger but couldn't see them being able to keep up their range and quality affordably on board.

Double deckers are never likely to run on the classic network, though they might be practical on new high speed lines built to larger structure gauge, if they ever get constructed.

As others have said it's important to save weight on new designs, and common coupler standards would be a worthwhile goal.

Otherwise train interiors need to be bright and attractive as well as easy to service and clean - I think recent Siemens designs excel in this area.
 
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ert47

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A couple (or just one) of Southerns 455s had monitors installed in the carriages...

Dunno what happened to that one, never saw the screens switched on and never saw the train again (or at least havent noticed it - didnt take note of the unit number)
 

swt_passenger

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I don't think seat back entertainment will gain any traction- with the incrase in prevalance of laptops, smartphones and tablets I think a majority of travellers would rather have power sockets and high speed wifi. I know FGW have their trial coaches, but I see no future for it. Look what happened to the "radio" systems on Virgin when mp3 players took hold properly.
Concur. FGW's Volo was originally a trial, but then fully introduced (ie one coach on a train) as a commercial service back in 2010. But just a few weeks ago (Jun 1st maybe?) it was made a free service, presumably because there was not enough interest in the paid service. AIUI all the up to date content such as films has been binned.
 

tbtc

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The way I'd approach this would be to consider a car a generation ago and a train a generation ago (say 25 years?). Whilst the train experience is still fairly similar, the car experience has moved on a lot (USB sockets to charge/play your MP3s through the car speakers, electronic windows, much better seats, much better display information at your fingertips etc).

Hopefully invent one coupler so all types of stock could work together
YES! This! A thousand times this!

I don't think seat back entertainment will gain any traction- with the incrase in prevalance of laptops, smartphones and tablets I think a majority of travellers would rather have power sockets and high speed wifi. I know FGW have their trial coaches, but I see no future for it. Look what happened to the "radio" systems on Virgin when mp3 players took hold properly.
As far as entertainment goes, the trend is that people carry their own
I agree about the "entertainment" - I'd rather have an MP3 player/ laptop than have to watch a screen - especially as screens on trains are prone to vandalism etc.

If we had universal phone chargers then I'd suggest something like that - certainly things like plugs would be an improvement on services designed to take people longer distances.

WiFi would be welcomed, but its hard to guarantee connectivity in some rural parts.
 

HSTEd

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Standardisation is the name of the game.
Standard couplers, standard multiple working equipment for all stock.

Everything standard.

And free WiFi on all trains for all passengers hopefully in the future.
 

Minstral25

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I'd say a good deal of the focus now needs to be on making sure people can get one of these seats, rather than having to stand - I feel a lot of the investment for the time being really needs to be in the areas of making trains and platforms longer, and enabling higher frequencies, even in areas where traditionally this has been ignored.
There was a suggestion on the forum recently that 2+2 (rather than 2+3) becomes a standard layout on commuter services, with wider aisles providing more room for standing passengers. This might also help with wheelchair access throughout trains.
I think it is also important that the seats are usable. Being 6'3" and around 21" across the shoulders I find many 3+2 seats just too small and probably 15-20% of the population is bigger than me!

I've actually started avoiding certain trains and started using my car as the trains are too uncomfortable with lack of legroom and encroaching into the space of the seat next to me.

The move to airline style seats is making this worse as rarely can I sit in them (My knees touch the seat in front on Southern 377's so these are very uncomfortable and hence I head for the table seats)

I'm expecting the new "700's" seats will be like FCC 319's as they are 3+2 seats with the "3" removed to create corridor space - they are far too narrow and thus very uncomfortable. Plus its really weird when you sit next to someone squashed right up to them with all that empty space in the corridor. I've started driving to work to avoid the 319's!!

If it works on LO 378s, then I see no reason why this cannot be expanded to other stock used for metro-style services on the NR network. Obviously, a great deal of the LU stock already has this feature.
I don't like these but do see the value of them in short hop metro services. Trouble is some of them are used where people will make longer journeys with a packed central metro journey for a few stations in the middle of the line (ELL for example). There must be a better way of organising these services so that passengers on longer journeys aren't being forced onto inappropriate seating to benefit a small part of the journey
 

ex-railwayman

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Not with a colossal investment in much larger loading gauges, or a clever way to put the floors of passenger seating vehicles closer to the trackbed than ever before!
But, even if they altered the construction of passenger coaches, a doubledecker still needs to go through tunnels and under/over bridges, the cost of changing loading guages, in the UK, is prohibitive.

Cheerz. ex-railwayman.
 

jopsuk

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I think you meant "someone will invent a new standard coupler that won't work with any of the types we have already."
...but can be retrofitted at a not-exorbitant cost to all stock, at the same height, where it could make operational sense.
 

Bevan Price

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Leather sofas, mood lighting and a full sized bar.
With hostesses dressed as lap dancers ?? Or maybe a brothel coach attached for anyone wanting extra special relaxation after a hard day at work ? Trouble is there wouldn't be enough seats for the other passengers.
 

Gwenllian2001

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Comfortable seats that line up with the windows. Some compartment stock to get away from the perambulating drunks; undisciplined children; compulsive beeping game players and telephone users. A Buffet Car with a seated area and a van to carry bicycles and prams. Oh, hang on, that's what used to make railway travel so attractive.
 
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Who knows if the white heat of fast paced modern technology may one day develop far enough to provide that seemingly impossible pipe dream..................seats that line up with windows. :lol:
 

HSTEd

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Unfortunately seats that line up with the windows is impractical since that would have seven or eight table bays at most... which is 56/64 seats per coach in second class, and no airline seats.
 

The_Rail_WAy

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An interesting and lively discussion you have raised here Berske. Thankyou. Apart from the obvious I would like to see:

(1) The complete and utter abolishment over over allocating first class coaching on busy services where people are forced to stand whilst half the train is empty - in particular on Virgins West Coast.
(2) Less emphasis on the 'on-board' experience and more on relaibility and companionship between company and consumer - the two work hand-in hand.
(3) Less use of diesel trains on electric/OHLE lines - we are after all living in an 'economic/enviro' age.
(4) The re-charctarisation and 'identity' of infrastructure - something that has been lost in the last 15 years or so.
 

stut

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Unfortunately seats that line up with the windows is impractical since that would have seven or eight table bays at most... which is 56/64 seats per coach in second class, and no airline seats.
Or smaller windows...
 

jopsuk

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An interesting and lively discussion you have raised here Berske. Thankyou. Apart from the obvious I would like to see:

(1) The complete and utter abolishment over over allocating first class coaching on busy services where people are forced to stand whilst half the train is empty - in particular on Virgins West Coast.
It has taken a while, but the Pendolnos, in 11-car formation, have a sensible ratio (for an intercity train) now. The original 8-car formations were hilariously wrong.
 
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