Tag: railway


Is the ticket dead?

Is the ticket dead?

The news that London Underground are to close ticket offices (www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-25025888) is set to change the nature of the “ticket” and the interaction between operator and customer. The days of the little bit of paper clutched in our hands are clearly numbered.  Tickets moving onto our smart mobile devices creates a range of opportunities to enhance the passenger experience by offering a more joined-up, journey-orientated...

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Influencing modal shift in transport systems

Influencing modal shift in transport systems

Sometimes to get people to make different choices about how they travel you have to make things easy for passengers.  This usually means think about transport in a connected way and looking at what people need and want and what might be barriers. So great example here from Germany.  Cyclists often use another mode of transport as part of their journey – interaction with trams...

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Announcements – useful or annoying?

Announcements – useful or annoying?

On all public transport systems we are generally bombarded by verbal announcements, many pre-recorded.  Some are useful – “the next train from platform 6 is the …” but most are just noise – don’t run when its wet, keep your belongings with you, etc. It is similar to how our visual field is assailed by signs and information.  Again we have to look for those...

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Why do rail companies make us feel like cheats?

Why do rail companies make us feel like cheats?

We understand that railway companies are commercial enterprises and that they need to make sure people travelling on the trains are paying for that right.  But why do they have to make us all feel like potential fare dodgers?  Ticket barriers everywhere inconvenience us (more queues, tickets that then don’t work, etc); staff on trains are now “Revenue Protection Officers” there to police us and...

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Conferences are coming…

Just a bit of news that CCD staff are presenting at four conferences in the next few months First of all, Adam Parkes is presenting on our SAMMIE work at a seminar at IMechE titled “Human factors in 3D – humans in engineering design“.  If you want to go, get your skates on as it is next week (2nd October). Then David Watts will be...

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Does the railway industry understand passengers?

Telling interview in The Guqrdian this weekend… TRAIN FARES Richard Gibson, head of communications, CrossCountry Guardian Weekend: I tried to book a CrossCountry train journey from St Austell to Macclesfield. The only available ticket was £147.50, eight weeks ahead. Train companies boast about low advance fares – the trade-off for pricey walk-on fares. What’s going on? Richard Gibson: Not all journeys have an advance fare....

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Is there a future for driverless trains?

Is there a future for driverless trains?

Does the new Heathrow pod system herald a new advance in driver-less, personal transport?  Are we likely to see major changes in rail-based transport systems?  Previously on this blog we’ve talked about interesting ideas for high-speed rail.  This article on the BBC highlighted a number of technologies especially around high speed http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/click_online/9617577.stm What we found interesting is the point made right at the bottom of...

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Are train seats too narrow?

Are train seats too narrow?

According to an article in the Metro this morning (http://bit.ly/fyYP0v) MPs are calling for wider seats on South West Trains as the current design is causing “physical damage” to passengers.  However according to the South West Trains website which summarises the conclusions of the report there are issues related to people fitting the seats but this is a “comfort issue not a health risk”. The...

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Rail fares advice “inadequate” – are there design solutions?

Rail fares advice “inadequate” – are there design solutions?

According to Which?, the advice that passengers receive on selecting the right train fare is inadquate – www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-12563302. Why is this and what could be done to fix the problem?  Well we’ve tried to give the problem some thought and come up with some ideas. 1) The train companies need to start thinking more like passengers and how they plan their journeys. How do we...

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How to get on a train without it stopping?

Followers of this blog will know that we’re always interested in human issues in design related to transport systems.  Clearly one of the issues with high speed rail is how you avoid stopping which wastes time and energy – but stopping is useful to the passengers to actually get on and off. So we were amused and interested to see this solution from an engineer...

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