Transport User Voice – March 2021 – Passengers help design trains

25 February 2021

Getting the community involved 

What changes would you make to the trains you take? Transport Focus asked passengers in the Liverpool City Region just that when Merseyrail began designing its new fleet of trains.

The research has been hailed as good practice within the industry, setting a new standard in British train design.

The watchdog asked members of the local community to take part in workshops with the Merseyrail team to look at options for the design of new trains.

Passengers were involved from the beginning and contributed to improvements including a sliding step for disabled passengers and creating spacious carriages that suited those with luggage or buggies.

They were able to see a mock-up which showcased this work through a public display in August 2018 which attracted over 10,000 visitors and universal praise.

I thought this was a fantastic project and I was very proud to be part of it.” Female, 55+, commuter, user of the Wirral and Northern lines

It was a great chance to be involved in something that impacts our daily lives.” Male, 26-34, leisure, user of the Wirral and Northern lines

The community aspect, the balance of online and face to face workshops worked well. Having the opportunity to be part of the process was fantastic.” Female, 35-54, commuter, user of the Northern line

Looking forward to stepping on the new trains!”  Male, 26-34, leisure, user of the Wirral and Northern lines.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said:

“There is no better way of getting a service that works for passengers than to ask them what they want. Merseyrail passengers can take pride in knowing that these trains were created by and for them.

“More operators should look to include passengers throughout the design process of new trains.”

Greg Suligowski, head of customer and stakeholder experience at Merseyrail, said:

“It was a pleasure to work with our passengers on the design of the train that will serve the needs of the people of the Liverpool City Region for years to come.

“Working with our partners at the Liverpool City Region, Transport Focus and Stadler we believe this innovative approach was incredibly useful in understanding what features our passengers wanted on board the new trains.”

Read the full report here.


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