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Brief Published: 6 Nov 2018

What Will the Train of the Future Look Like?

NS x Mecanoo x Gispen

Public transport networks are enabling consumers to enhance their journey time by offering flexible spaces that blend work, home and transport. During Dutch Design Week 2018, Dutch national railway company NS presented its creative vision for the train of tomorrow.

Working with Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo and product designer Gispen, the train operator has created a new model for the train of the future. The concept maximises capacity during commuter times while also catering to travellers who wish to make the most of their journey time during off-peak hours.

Drawing on feedback from consumers, the train interior features 12 flexible modules based around the three main passenger requirements: space for work and study; areas to relax, watch films and read; and places to gather socially or talk on the phone. The modules are interchangeable, fitting into the train like building blocks in a grid, and are suitable for any type of existing train. For a similar approach in the airline space, see The Reimagined Aeroplane Cargo Hold.

Arne Lijbers, associate architect at Mecanoo, said: "The train of the future will be a dynamic, open environment that permits all kinds of passenger activities. The train isn't just a tube that you travel in from point A to point B."

Read our Macro Trend reports Tomorrow's Wandering Workers and Dutch Design Week 2017: Trends for fresh perspectives on the future of train travel.