Product development company 42 Technology has come up with a reconfigurable train carriage system which could allow cargo to easily be transported onboard passenger services.
Named the ‘Adaptable Carriage’, the system automatically stows away seats to create additional space for freight during off peak services, for example, and promises to bring about commercial and environmental benefits.
42 Technology demonstrated the product at Railtex and is now looking to work with TOCs to trial the system, which can be installed into new or legacy carriages.
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Aimed at low-density, high value goods that would otherwise be transported by road, the system takes three minutes to configure from start to finish.
While transforming from one state to the other, the system’s forward-folding design means that rubbish left on seat is tipped onto the floor to allow for easier cleaning.
The cargo space created by moving the seating – in a typical passenger carriage made up of 20 rows of four seats – is the equivalent capacity of an articulated lorry, according to 42 Technology.
Attention to detail has also been made to ensure the system – which has been developed as part of a two-year, RSSB-funded programme – adds as little weight as possible to the carriage while maximising passenger comfort.