• Transform magazine
  • June 26, 2022


Seymourpowell and Angel Trains design post-Covid railway carriage 

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Design and innovation company Seymourpowell have revealed its conceptual work with rolling stock company Angel Trains, designing a ‘post-Covid’ rail interior with a flexible passenger experience in mind.

At the core of each of these design 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. The spaces are designed to provide high-capacity seating but also be sold as expanded workspaces during off-peak travel times, championing the world’s new flexible approach to work.  

“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.  We have long been championing flexible interiors, designed to offer varied service offers, depending on time of day, routes, or specific customer needs,” says Jeremy White, head of transport at Seymourpowell.


To address consumers' heightened anxieties around existing train environments, the concept also demonstrates the installation of permanent hand sanitiser dispensers, antimicrobial finishes, and touchless doors. 

More space is also afforded to luggage and bicycles to encourage leisure travellers to use rail services in favour of the car. However, rather than a rigid layout, the same space can convert to seating or a suitable space for standees during busier periods.

“Innovation is key to the expansion and evolution of train travel.  There has never been a better time to radically rethink the way we design public transport. New service and product offerings are one way to make rail travel more appealing. Finding ways to encourage people to choose rail will become even more important in a post-Covid world,” says White.

The evolution of the train interior aims to cater to the demands of both leisure and commuter passengers, putting the customer experience at the heart of the design, and bringing the rail industry up to speed to help it secure its future.