Changing role of stations: meetings to groceries (Railway-Technology)
Train stations are no longer just a point of connection between two places; they are in many cases becoming the beating heart of a city. With thousands of people using the train to go to work every day, how are stations evolving, shaped by our consumption habits and our hunger for convenience?
In June this year, Amazon started a partnership with French national state-owned railway company Société nationale des chemins de fer (SNCF) that aims to install parcel collection points, called Amazon Lockers, in about 1,000 railway stations across the country.
The scheme, which is currently in place at Paris’ Gare de Lyon and will be expanded over the coming months, allows passengers and local residents to order items on Amazon and pick them up at a convenient station. With over 730 trains passing through it on a daily basis, and a total of 100 million passengers a year, Gare de Lyon is one of the busiest in France and serves as a transport hub for thousands of commuters every day.
About three months in, the trial has already exceeded its targets and aims to deliver 100 packages per locker every day by the end of 2018. “This is a specific service which is used to create a connection between the city, the station and our clients’ everyday life,” explains Carole Tabourot, head of customer experience and station services at SNCF’s Gares et Connexions branch, which is responsible for railway stations in France.