TO DEMONSTRATE its TrainView passenger entertainment and information system to operators, the Passenger Rail Division of The Network Connection (TNCi) has unveiled a ’simulator’ at its British headquarters in Derby. Furnished with seats supplied by Antolin Loire, the simulator features seatback and table-mounted 8·4in LCD screens. TrainView has been developed by TNCi in conjunction with designer Jones Garrard and Reelform Direct, responsible for the touch-screen-based graphical interface.

Now looking to enter the European rail market from its US base, TNCi has produced entertainment systems for hotels, cruise liners and aircraft. In the TrainView system, each car would have a video server weighing 48 kg and drawing 50W. Operating off a 110V DC supply, each screen would draw 15W. The seatback installation typically weighs 1·25 kg and the table unit 12 kg. Both are equipped with a headphone socket, and options could include a credit card reader and a USB port for a games console.

In developing the table unit, Jones Garrard has drawn on its experience of train interiors, including current Alstom builds for the British market, to produce a contemporary design that also aims to be robust and reliable. Installed back-to-back for passengers facing each other across a bay, twin screens rise up from a trough 225mm deep in the centre of the table. They are deployed by pressing a button in the top of the unit which projects from the table surface. When the screens are stowed, this top forms a seal to prevent spilled liquids from entering the mechanism and can be locked out of use.

As well as entertainment ranging from films and live TV (via an on-board receiver) to games and at-seat shopping, the system could be used to provide passengers with information on train running and connections, station facilities and their destination. Stephen Ollier, Managing Director of TNCi UK Ltd, expects that future operators will sell advertising to meet the cost of installing and operating a system. He sees ’quite a revenue opportunity’, reporting a favourable response to the TrainView concept from agencies and advertisers in Britain.