A state-of-the-art innovative seating system has been developed for trains enabling operators to configure specific carriages to carry either passengers or high-value cargo as required.

This is the first time ever that a passenger train can also be used as a cargo train. The fully automated adaptable carriage system requires minimal effort from operators and takes under three minutes to complete. The system ensures the seats and tables within a passenger train carriage get automatically stowed to create space for low density, high value packages and other cargo that would otherwise go by road.

The new technology will allow for 20 rows of seats in a typical passenger carriage to be compressed to create cargo space equivalent to the capacity of an articulated lorry. It also ensures that seats and tables within each section of an adaptable carriage are connected and can be moved along the length of the carriage. Additionally, the novel forward-folding seat design allows any rubbish left on seats to be tipped onto the floor for easier cleaning after the seats have been stowed.

The innovative system was developed as part of a two year Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) R&D project, with the objective to ease road congestion, cut emissions and allow online retailers to offer later order cut-off times, faster deliveries and new services.

The carriage technology is fully compatible with both steel-frame and modern aluminium train carriage designs using cantilevered seats. It can also be retrofitted into existing carriages or integrated into new-build designs. In addition to the innovative aspects, the seats have also been designed to maximise passenger comfort and are specifically engineered to add minimal extra weight to the carriage.

This Adaptable Carriage system is an example of what can be achieved when companies invest into innovation and R&D projects. To find out more about R&D and how your company could benefit, contact a Swanson Reed R&D Tax Advisory Specialist today.