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RSSB calls for ‘scientific approach’ to train seats

The RSSB (Rail Safety and Standards Board) is calling on the rail industry to develop “a more scientific approach” to measuring and specifying comfort in train seating, following criticism of seating on a number of new train fleets.

New research proposed by the RSSB aims to develop a more sophisticated approach to understanding comfort, including the shape of the seat, cushioning, material choice, lumbar support, vibration, legroom, journey length and other aspects.

The aim is to develop a seat comfort specification for manufacturers with a set of minimum requirements which would allow comfort to be considered as an essential feature.

RSSB Senior Human Factors Specialist Jordan Smith said: “There simply aren’t any reliable industry-approved measures to quantify passenger train seat comfort - they don’t exist.

“The rail industry wants us to challenge that, by exploring the potential of a new specification which takes full account of the complexity of the human factors involved, and allows owners, suppliers and government procurement teams to efficiently specify and deliver seating in line with passenger comfort.”



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  • FrankH - 21/02/2018 21:58

    "New research proposed by the RSSB aims to develop a more sophisticated approach to understanding comfort, including the shape of the seat, cushioning, material choice, lumbar support, vibration, legroom, journey length and other aspects." Going OTT again. A body on a chassis that can simulate rail travel. 3 types of seating, commuter, outer suburban and long distance. Volunteers. Now listen to what people say and react to that. Fit the improved seating to a few service trains and trial them, get passenger reaction, improve if necessary. So simple it'll never happen.

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    • Tricky - 19/03/2018 00:41

      I suspect it's the clever dick application of 'science' that's got us to the state we're in. The latest IET seats are some of the worst I've had the misfortune to sit on. After a 2.5 hour journey no one should be in pain afterwards. Not everyone who uses trains are fit, healthy and young and built like Mr Staypuff. Use human's of all age groups to verify the science, preferably NOT paid employees of those with a stake in the outcome.

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  • Martin - 21/02/2018 22:27

    Really, 200 years after we invented the railway. At least someone is listening. I hope that the 'scientific method' includes using real passengers on long trips as part of the research. Anyway, very good news that passenger concerns are being heard.

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