An innovative new system to stow seats within passenger train carriages to create space for cargo is now available for train operating companies to trial. It’s a unique approach, developed in collaboration with the UK rail sector and offers significant commercial, environmental and passenger benefits. 42 Technology, a mechanical engineering corporation has announced the development of a complete seating system that will enable train operating companies for the first time to configure specific carriages to carry either passengers or high-value cargo as required. The ‘Adaptable Carriage’ system allows the seats and tables within a passenger train carriage to be automatically stowed to create space for ‘low density, high value’ packages and other cargo that would otherwise go by road. It offers a novel but very practical way to get more cargo onto the rail network.
The reconfiguration process is fully automated, takes under three minutes to complete and as a result the 20 rows of seats in a typical passenger carriage can be compressed.
The system has been developed as part of a two year RSSB-funded programme, using extensive inputs from the UK rail industry, and when deployed could help ease road congestion, cut emissions and allow online retailers to offer later order cut-off times, faster deliveries and new services. The technology can be retrofitted into existing carriages or integrated into new build designs, and is now ready for use in its first industrial trials.