UK firms win funding for innovative train seating plans


Plans for carrying more rail commuters comfortably and safely have won development funding for two UK design firms in a global competition.

Network Rail and the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) have awarded up to £750,000 each to 42 Technology and PriestmanGoode to progress their designs.

42 Technology’s ‘Adaptable Carriage’ involves the automatic stowage and controlled movement of seating, with a design that enables deployment as a seat or perch, forward or rearward-facing as passenger flows indicate.

PriestmanGoode, who have designed potentially driverless tube trains for London Underground, are proposing a flexible seat type that can adapt to suit peak and off-peak conditions in their ‘Horizon Train’ concept, to offer either greater capacity or a comfortable working environment.

Director Paul Priestman said: ‘With increasing numbers of people being priced out of cities and moving to the suburbs, the pressure on our trains, and commuter trains in particular, is forecast to continue.

‘Passengers are already facing cramped conditions. It’s imperative that we find a long-term solution to tackle the big issue of rail overcrowding, to alleviate pressure on the system, improve passenger experience, quality of life and value for money.'

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