Novel seating systems to enable flexible use passenger trains allowing high-value freight transport.

In 2015, 42 Technology was named as one of three companies to be awarded a share of a £2.2m development fund for its innovative Adaptable Carriage concept. The funding — made available through the Tomorrow’s Train Design Today – TTDT – competition, in association with the Department for Transport — is allowing us to continue to develop our innovative design concept for a new generation of passenger rolling stock.

The competition was intended to identify ‘long-term horizon designs for rolling stock that push the envelope of what can be delivered’ against the industries strategic objectives of reducing cost and carbon emissions, while increasing capacity and customer satisfaction.

Incredibly impressed with how far you’ve come in such a short time. The standard of the technology feasibility, mechanical design, and market feasibility really gave us confidence in the concept.

Mark Benton, Project Manager for the Tomorrow’s Train Design Today competition

Adaptable carriage

Our concept is for the installation of sliding-seats which can be deployed as usual during peak hours when trains are full of commuters. However, during off-peak periods when utilisation of space is very low, the seats can be collapsed down to one end of the carriage, creating a large flexible space for the transportation of luggage, bikes, or high-value goods.

The concept therefore uses unutilised space to deliver a high-speed service that could see delivery times to remote parts of the UK slashed, same-day and next-day order deadlines pushed back, and a new route to market for regional SME producers.

 

We are currently building a full-sized demonstration unit for exhibition at leading rail industry shows throughout 2017 which we will be using to help create a consortium of builders, operators, logistics companies and retailers to apply for further funding to take the technology to the rails.

In addition to making the award, the judging panel also specifically praised 42 Technology for the quality of its development work and strength of its presentation setting out the commercial and technical feasibility of their approach. The judges included directors and senior managers from leading UK transport operator FirstGroup; train leasing specialist Angel Trains; train manufacturer Hitachi; and the Design Council.