Urban Transport

New seat designs put trains and trams on track for increased capacity

New seat designs put trains an...
PriestmanGoode says the Horizon and Island Bay seats can be installed on new or existing trains and trams and could be rolled out within a year
PriestmanGoode says the Horizon and Island Bay seats can be installed on new or existing trains and trams and could be rolled out within a year
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PriestmanGoode says the Horizon and Island Bay seats can be installed on new or existing trains and trams and could be rolled out within a year
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PriestmanGoode says the Horizon and Island Bay seats can be installed on new or existing trains and trams and could be rolled out within a year
The Horizon seat is designed to take up considerably less space than a typical commuter train seat
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The Horizon seat is designed to take up considerably less space than a typical commuter train seat
The Horizon allows for 20-30 percent more seating in a carriage
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The Horizon allows for 20-30 percent more seating in a carriage
The two-seat side-by-side Horizon has a slightly staggered configuration, increasing shoulder space and personal space for each passenger
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The two-seat side-by-side Horizon has a slightly staggered configuration, increasing shoulder space and personal space for each passenger
The Horizon has mobile device mounts that can support tablets and smartphones at a range of viewing angles and USB charging points too
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The Horizon has mobile device mounts that can support tablets and smartphones at a range of viewing angles and USB charging points too
The Island Bay is designed to be a flexible seating solution
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The Island Bay is designed to be a flexible seating solution
The Island Bay seat can provide regular seating during off-peak or less busy times
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The Island Bay seat can provide regular seating during off-peak or less busy times
The Island Bay can flip up to offer a more economic setup at busier times
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The Island Bay can flip up to offer a more economic setup at busier times
The Island Bay seats afford wider than average aisles, which are more accessible for wheelchairs, strollers, large luggage and folding bicycles
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The Island Bay seats afford wider than average aisles, which are more accessible for wheelchairs, strollers, large luggage and folding bicycles
When flipped up in their space-saving position, the Island Bay seats are still fully supportive, unlike perch seats that are often found on public transport
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When flipped up in their space-saving position, the Island Bay seats are still fully supportive, unlike perch seats that are often found on public transport

UK studio PriestmanGoode has designed two train and tram seats aimed at alleviating the problem of overcrowding on transport networks. Both the streamlined Horizon and the adaptable Island Bay seats allow for more seating in a standard commuter carriage, while also affording more standing space.

Although the designs are currently conceptual, they were funded by the UK's Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) with a view, ultimately, to improving passenger experience. In addition, PriestmanGoode itself has a strong track record of transport design, including the new driverless trains for the London Underground, as well as airplane business class cabins for Swiss International Air Lines, Virgin Australia and United Airlines.

The seat designs are based on the premise that many cities and their transport networks are faced with increasing levels of overcrowding. Designer and chairman at PriestmanGoode Paul Priestman points out that, while it's important for us to encourage the more sustainable use of public transport over the use of personal vehicles, such services become unpleasant to use as capacity begins to fall short of passenger numbers.

"In many countries the existing public transport infrastructure cannot be improved sufficiently quickly to keep pace with these rapidly increasing passenger numbers and, in many cases, platforms cannot be extended nor the size of trains increased," says Priestman in a press release. "So, as designers, we need to innovate to help alleviate the problem and improve passenger experience."

Horizon

The first of PriestmanGoode's two seats, the Horizon, is designed to take up considerably less space than a typical commuter train seat, allowing for 20-30 percent more seating in a carriage. The two-seat, side-by-side unit also has a slightly staggered configuration, increasing shoulder space and personal space for each passenger.

Luggage storage space and bag hooks at the Horizon seats allow passengers to keep their belongings close at hand at all times and eliminate the need for luggage racks. They are also said to provide a fully supported seating position and each seat has two footrests so as to accommodate passengers of different heights. Mobile device mounts can support tablets and smartphones at a range of viewing angles and there are USB charging points as well.

Island Bay

The Island Bay seat, meanwhile, is designed to be a flexible solution that can provide regular seating during off-peak times and a more economic setup at busier times. To do so, its base flips up to provide a seat that is higher, is thinner and takes up less space, but that is still fully supportive, unlike perch seats commonly found on public transport. In addition to providing more standing space, this also brings into play an additional flip-up seat mounted underneath the window, which can otherwise be used as a table.

Around 15-20 percent more seats can be fitted into a train carriage by way of the Island Bay seats and they are said to afford wider-than-average aisles too, which are more accessible for wheelchairs, strollers, large luggage and folding bicycles. Also built into the Island Bay seats are anti-theft/pick-pocket shields and twin USB charging ports.

PriestmanGoode says the Horizon and Island Bay seats can be installed on new or existing trains and trams and could be rolled out within a year. The firm also suggests they could be used in combination with regular seats.

Source: PriestmanGoode

6 comments
Bob Flint
Bar stool meets public transit, sort of more than leaning against the wall, but still some support for the relatively small younger population. How would this be any better for the aged population??
David McDonald
Gee, what a swell way to get people back into their 'Cars'. This concept is equally efficient & utterly preposterous, all at the same time. Ryanair (& the rest of the airlines) would just love this for their planes. Next we know, they'll be bundling us up belly-to-belly & stuffing us in a cargo container together. Enough-is-enough, I refuse to be treated this way & have already eliminated air travel from my modes of transport...& I'll do the same for any other mode that dis-respects our 'humanity' in similar ways, like this dumb idea.
SussexWolf
Smart concepts, although the first seat looks uncomfortable for loner journeys with such a short seat depth. In response to Bob's comment, they do point out that these seats can be mixed and matched with conventional seats, so the seats often reserved for elderly, pregnant, etc. can simply be retained and these can replace the others. What I'm not sure will work however is letting passengers select the seat option in the Island concept. If so, many passenger will choose the more comfortable mode and the extra seating space will not be realised.
GWA111
Just like a can of sardines...
habakak
Seats looks great and much needed. The trains I take can't be more crowded due to this. The fatties should lose weight and not blame the world for their huge posteriors.
TomChambers
The structural footprint seems to be smaller, less space taken up by the back of the chair, but otherwise I can't see much advantage here. You can make the seat thinner but that's about it unless you remove legroom. The island seats that flip down would be used by passengers at the start of a journey when the train is relatively empty and then stay down as the train fills up so providing no extra space. It's unlikely that a passenger would stand up to make more room in the carriage.