Travel time becomes “own time”

Every year, 373 million travellers spend their time in NS (Dutch National Railway Company) trains. In NS’s future vision for 2025,

the train will be more than a means of transport. Travel time will become more attractive. A traveller’s “own time”.

To realise this ambition, the NS has created a vision of the future train interior. This was presented at the DDW last year and could be experienced in a virtual world. This year the NS chose VanBerlo to iterate on this vision and bring it closer to reality. Come and test our work during this year’s DutchDesignWeek!

The NS’s vision sheds light on the human factor. Each train traveler has different needs along their journey. Those can pose a big hurdle on the design of a public product. Therefore, the focus of this project was on ergonomics and experience. When it comes to transportation, a comfortable ride makes all the difference in the quality of the user experience.

The VanBerlo project revolved around optimising two new seating concepts to increase the travel experience of the many public transport users. One concept being the window counter, a double seat facing the window with a large counter to accommodate different activities; the other concept being an extended facing seat, a more active seat with a large table. See the below artist impressions.


Artist impression of the two concepts: 1 (left) Windows counter 2) Extended facing seat


The challenge of this project was to balance ergonomics and user friendliness, while still matching the spatial requirements. The main questions: how do we please the smallest to the tallest passenger and still offer a comfortable ride? Could I sit here and work comfortably, or is the person next to me entering my social or even personal space?


Rough mockups for ergonomics and seating experience checks


By using a hands-on approach and building rough mockups, we were able to iterate quickly and find the best balance between ergonomics and user friendliness, within the given requirements.

The outcome of our project has led to the creation of 2 prototypes that can be used to gather valuable insights, so we can further improve the concepts.


Prototypes of the two new seating concepts @ Enversed


During Dutch Design Week 2019, the NS will kick off the consumer validation of these concepts at ENVERSED. Here you can also re-experience the interior vision in VR. Come share your thoughts!

Visit our work @ ENVERSED in the Veem Building from October 19th until October 27th.