Seating manufacturers are exploring design solutions to give passengers both the comfort and facilities they need. Lighter, stronger, cheaper and more flexible are the operators’ demands, whilst passengers want to be pampered during the journey. Although the advent of compact in-seat entertainment equipment has made it possible to keep passengers amused, the most important thing remains to deliver a comfortable environment.

Italy’s Chomiak Design has developed concepts for a sleeper seat. It gives premium fare passengers a seat which reclines to a fully-flat position, as well as a table for working or for meals, and at-seat entertainment systems. Another option is inclusion of personal lockable luggage rack and wardrobe (right). Chomiak worked with Bombardier Transportation on the successful tender for Britain’s Virgin CrossCountry replacement train tender.

The Wing modular seating design gained Vogel Interieur a Product Design Award at this year’s Hannover iF Industrial Design Forum. The basic design can be customised to include different levels of padding, head and arm rests, and a folding table. Other options include a reading light and ashtray.

Leading developments at Norway’s VBK Transport Interior is the XT seat, being developed to meet NSB’s specifications, and designed to keep coach weight down. A pair of seats weighs 45 kg, yet incorporate a wide range of features. These include a turning mechanism, fold-down table on the seat back and audio entertainment panel, and the seat has leg rests. The headrest has been redesigned, while the reclining mechanism gives 17° of tilt with a sliding seat. o

Reader Enquiry Numbers:

Chomiak Design 96

Vogel Interieur 97

VBK Transport Interior 98

Georg Eknes 99

CAPTION: First class seating on Heathrow Express is by Georg Eknes, and is to a luxury design, even though the journey only lasts 15min