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THE TITFIELD THUNDERBOLT

CLIENT: TECHNOLOGY STRATEGY BOARD
LOCATION: ANYWHERE | UK
PROJECT TYPE: INTERIOR DESIGN CONCEPT FOR FUTURE TRAINS
YEAR: 2014
STATUS: COMPETITION (SELECTED FOR INTERVIEW)

The Titfield Thunderbolt is a concept design for future rolling stock entered into the ‘Next-Gen Train Interiors’ competition launched by the FutureRailway Team and the Department for Transport. With a focus on short distance trains we developed a new typology of carriage layout addressing the parameters specifically associated with this type of travel like frequent stops, short journey times and high turnaround of passengers.

Drawing on personal experiences we identified three key areas where improvements are required to make short distance journeys a more enjoyable experience: access, flexibility and efficiency. In our view trains need to offer a much more inclusive environment, making it easier for passengers travelling with luggage, shopping, pushchairs and bicycles or those in wheelchairs and with disabilities to use public transport. Similarly fixtures and fittings have to be less restrictive and offer a greater degree of adaptability depending on type of journey, whether it is an early morning commute, a shopping trip with the family or a night out with friends. Improvements in these areas will ultimately lead to better efficiencies resulting in many commercial and operational benefits like shorter dwell times and maximised utilisation of capacity.

Our design divides carriages into alternating zones of flexible vestibules areas and bespoke fixed modules. The flexible open plan vestibule areas provide the adaptable and inclusive environment. Fold down seats offer choice, encourage social interaction and allow for increased passenger capacities at peak times. Offset doors are proposed to encourage passenger to gather away from door areas and move further into the carriage to improve access and shorten dwell times. The bespoke fixed modules introduce an element of personality and offer a sense of orientation. Modules are interchangeable and allow specific rail operators to assemble and adapt carriages to operational needs .We feel our typology has the potential to instill a sense of pride and ownership, and make journeys on the railways once again a cherished part of everyday life.

The intention was to develop Stage 1 and 2 of the design in collaboration with Interfleet Technologies in the event of a successful bid.

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