Your preferred railway seat type

Preference

  • Hard seats, e.g. Grammer IC3000 (GWR HST), Grammer E3000 (Desiro), ironing board etc

    Votes: 58 36.9%
  • Bouncy sprung seats, e.g. Mk1 stock, IC70 etc

    Votes: 99 63.1%

  • Total voters
    157
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RailUK Forums

superalbs

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3 Jul 2014
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Exeter
I like Grammer IC3000 and E3000, but think the fainsa ironing board (and all derivatives) is the worst seat ever designed.

But I also hate IC70, which are also very uncomfortable.

So I can't really choose an option. I wouldn't say either Grammer is particularly hard though.
 

AM9

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13 May 2014
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St Albans
For me (at 6’1) it’s more about the height than the softness. Anything made before about 2000 is uncomfortably low (and in the case of the Networker seat I’m currently sitting in, probably dangerous to my neck in case of sudden acceleration).
Similarly for me at the same height, it's head and neck support so most modern transverse seating offers such safety. That support also needs to extend all down the spine so a profile encouraging a good posture, particularly in the lumbar region is preferable. As a consequence, so-called 'luxury' seating with soft padding fails to provide support especially when worn by heavy use. Such heavy use isn't compatible with the majority of past (say BR MKI & II era) sprung designs. Even later MKI SR EMUs with additional foam padding were fine when outshopped but with such heavy use, rapidly became very uncomfortable for longer journeys.
It's notable that most chronic back pain originates from poor posture so prolonged enforced sitting should address that.
 

mushroomchow

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14 Feb 2017
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Where HSTs Still Scream. Kind of.
I can't look past Mk. 1 seats for comfort historically speaking, but they're not exactly current.

Of seats available on services today, I'd say Grammers, provided they're not packed together in a knee-crushing fashion.

This poll is too broad - there's more to a seat than whether it's hard or springy that dictates passenger comfort - you can't bundle a well-designed seat like a Grammer in with an "ironing board" for example. Ergonomics matter a lot more with "hard" seats than "springy" ones that suck you up like an affectionate hoover.
 

class387

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9 Oct 2015
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1,436
Ergonomics matter a lot more with "hard" seats than "springy" ones that suck you up like an affectionate hoover.
I far prefer firm seats but I definitely agree with this. The Grammer seats and the 'ironing board' Fainsa, which I like a lot, are more ergonomically designed than the Class 800 Fainsa, which I find even more uncomfortable than the also ergonomically poor IC70, the reason for that being that the excess padding cushions you fron the bad design of the seat itself.
 

Bletchleyite

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20 Oct 2014
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Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
I far prefer firm seats but I definitely agree with this. The Grammer seats and the 'ironing board' Fainsa, which I like a lot, are more ergonomically designed than the Class 800 Fainsa, which I find even more uncomfortable than the also ergonomically poor IC70, the reason for that being that the excess padding cushions you fron the bad design of the seat itself.
Agreed. FWIW I did it like this to get a quick "foam vs. sprung" view - listing all the types out would have taken forever. Therefore assume your preference of each.
 

EssexGonzo

Member
Joined
9 May 2012
Messages
483
Height, legroom (I'm 6'2") and lumbar support are my hot buttons. Get them right and I don't care about the sprung or foam bases.
 

brel york

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4 Feb 2011
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653
Location
the plant
What people tend to forget is that under British rail coaching stock was overhauled to a more ridged timetable, the standard of seating overhaul was much higher , some of the workmanship I’ve witnessed is amateur at best ,
All Mk1 stock had spring units , the Mk2 integrals (as we knew them ) started life with moulder foam over Pirelli webbing but this changed to spring units over time , the ic70 had spring units as did the Mk2 compartment stock ,
 

xotGD

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4 Feb 2017
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2,802
Mark 1 seats for me 100%. Just sink in and relax.

With 'modern' seating my main issues are legroom and width (or rather the lack of it with 3+2 seating).
 

AM9

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13 May 2014
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8,196
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St Albans
Mark 1 seats for me 100%. Just sink in and relax.

With 'modern' seating my main issues are legroom and width (or rather the lack of it with 3+2 seating).
That's not really answering the question. 3+2 seating was around in MKI days. There are plenty of new trains with normal width 2+2 seating, from class 387s to class 800s. Legroom like 3+2 arrangements, is more a matter of the volumes of passengers requiring seats, particularly where the infrastructure prevents just running more and/or longer trains in service.
 

superkev

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1 Mar 2015
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2,188
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west yorkshire
I used to like the seats fitted to the original MK2 coaches with the 'winged' headrests to test your head on.
As for modern seats to me it's all about legroom. No point in a comfy seat when your wedged to the one in front. The population is getting taller, -1" per genearation I believe.
K
 

brel york

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Joined
4 Feb 2011
Messages
653
Location
the plant
I used to like the seats fitted to the original MK2 coaches with the 'winged' headrests to test your head on.
As for modern seats to me it's all about legroom. No point in a comfy seat when your wedged to the one in front. The population is getting taller, -1" per genearation I believe.
K
We knew them as integral seats ,
 

KevinTurvey

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9 Oct 2016
Messages
133
As a youngster I used to like the early Mk2s as you could lift up and look under the sea cushions to see if any coins had dropped out of peoples pockets, and they often had! A nice supplementary pocket money source.

Seriously though sprung seats for me. I think the reason I like Mk1 seats as well is the heaters underneath, which give a nice cosy warmth with a fresh air flow at head level.
 

cactustwirly

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10 Apr 2013
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5,586
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UK
I really like the Grammer seating because it gives me a lot of support (I'm 6ft 3).
I don't mind the fainsa seats, but my second favourite type of seat are the chapman seats (EMT 153/6s, GWR & ATW 150/2s etc) which give a good compromise over support and softness.

Since moving to the East Midlands I've grown to the seats in the EMT HSTS.
 

DanNCL

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17 Jul 2017
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1,046
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County Durham
I mainly prefer the hard seats. I like the Ironing Boards, the Grammer seats (both the IC3000s and the desiro ones) and the bench seats used on the 142s, but I also like the IC70s. I'm not particularly keen on the Mallard standard class seats (the first class ones are fine though), the seats on the Pendolinos/Voyagers, or the seats used on the 180s.
 
Joined
26 Apr 2017
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467
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West Yorkshire
Personally, I quite like the IC70 seats as they are a good remenant of BR operated HST's *Prepares to be nuked*. The issue is that they are on EMT HST's with short-swing suspensions which makes the ride horrible - It certainly wakes you up at 7 in the morning in Thackley Tunnel.
 

xotGD

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4 Feb 2017
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2,802
As a youngster I used to like the early Mk2s as you could lift up and look under the sea cushions to see if any coins had dropped out of peoples pockets, and they often had! A nice supplementary pocket money source.

Seriously though sprung seats for me. I think the reason I like Mk1 seats as well is the heaters underneath, which give a nice cosy warmth with a fresh air flow at head level.
You could also lift up one of the cushions and angle it against the arm rest to act as a pillow when doing an overnight - that's if you had a double seat to yourself.
 

Bevan Price

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22 Apr 2010
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4,793
Personally, the last really comfortable UK coach seats were in those designed by Messrs Bulleid, Collett & Hawksworth. I am certainly not fat, but many "modern" seats are too narrow, and if anyone is sitting in the next seat (even in 2+2), your arms & shoulders are jammed against each other. A lot of seats are also too low - uncomfortable if you have long legs.
 

Mathew S

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7 Aug 2017
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2,093
Of the seats I regularly use (Northern stuff, TPE 185s & 350s, VTWC Pendolino and Voyager) the 185s and VTWC stock are what I find most comfortable by some margin.
The old-style soft, sprung, seats don't cope with the use they get in this region and end up rock hard and horribly uncomfortable anyway.
 

cjmillsnun

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13 Feb 2011
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3,020
BR Era seats for me. I like Mk1 and IC70s, and loved the type of seats fitted in the 442s in the NSE/SWT era. They were just spot on for my height and build.
 

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