Rail service improvements and disruptions

11.07.19

RSSB research creates train seat comfort rating

Research by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) has led to the first comfort rating scale for creating an appropriate level of comfort into train seats.

Rail experts from across the industry have encouraged designers and specifiers to adopt the new research findings in future specifications for new rolling stock.

RSSB’s chief operating officer, Johnny Schute, said: “This is a great opportunity for those who are embarking on train fleet design and interior overhaul now and in the future.

“We must ensure the best available techniques and research are accessed to create even better customer experience for future rail passengers.

“Comfort can now be thought of as a fundamental requirement, and properly measured scientifically for the first time in rail.

“Not a nice-to-have addition, or something that has to be sacrificed in the names of safety or security.”

First Rail is the first operator to use the new comfort scale and methodology in its specification of new train fleets.

First Rail’s engineering business development director, Martin Ward, said: “We’ve worked with RSSB to get in early and apply parts of this research to our current work on new rolling stock.

“In the past assessment and comparison was difficult without a quantified benchmark to work from. 

“This research has helped provide that, and we’ve even been able apply the method for dimensional and angle-based seat features, as well as the seat accessories criteria.

“I certainly recommend this work to other operators and suppliers working on specifications for future trains.”

Research looked at the dimensions of the seat and its environment including legroom, accessories, compression and hardness, seat attractiveness and the length of the journey.

This has led to a seat comfort specification for manufacturers with a set of minimum requirements, allowing comfort to be properly considered as an essential feature.

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