East Midlands Railway (EMR) has published the first renderings of the new seat product which will debut on the operator’s fleet of Hitachi-built Aurora trains from 2023.
As previously reported, EMR is getting a total of 33 five-car units in a contract worth £400 million, with the trains set to operate on mainline services out of London St Pancras to Sheffield, Lincoln, Nottingham, Derby and Leicester.
The rail operator said it had “taken the proven product of a FISA Lean seat and refined it to offer enhanced comfort and support”, including “increasing the size of cushions, headrests and armrests and making sure that high quality durable materials are used throughout, such as a wool-rich moquette and leather”.
All seats will have access to power and USB ports, and there will be free wifi throughout the trains.
The firm is working with Derby-based DGDESIGN, with director David Gordon stating:
“After safety and punctuality, seat comfort is probably the most important customer requirement and therefore a key focus for our interior design work, with every effort being made to optimise the at-seat experience by further enhancing an already proven seat system.
“Headrests have improved lateral support for added comfort and privacy, cushions have been widened, armrests are softer and deeper, additional privacy screening has been introduced and upholstery detailing has been refined to improve aesthetics and cleanability.”
Meanwhile Rachel Turner, head of new trains at East Midlands Railway, said:
“We know the FISA seat has a good level of comfort, but we wanted to further enhance this by providing additional support in key areas, developing something that looks comfortable, inviting, and unique to EMR. All this has been done whilst ensuring we still meet the latest seat safety standards.
“Our customers are used to large comfortable seats, as found in our Meridian trains, so we wanted to maintain this character but go even further.
“It has taken a lot of work but we are delighted with the final product, not only are they comfortable to sit in and look refined, but they are also easy to keep clean and include all the features passengers should expect from a new generation of trains.”