IAN WALMSLEY reviews the design of the seats on the Aurora

Readers will be used to me complaining about the seats on new trains, normally the cheapest which will meet safety regulations. It’s taken a while, my first such article was in October 2007, but I bring good news. This is risky as due to lockdown I couldn’t try the seat out, but I will say EMR has done everything right – this looks like the best effort short of horsehair and coil springs, a spectacular achievement by my ex-Porterbrook colleague, EMR’s Head of New Trains Rachel Turner.

While she didn’t design the seat (that was done by DG Design in Derby, working with the base product from FISA, EMR’s brand team and Hitachi), Rachel Turner was the one who negotiated the contract to ensure a new seat would be developed. She also made sure the legroom was increased by taking the seat pitch from 750mm to 800mm (the old BR standard, and mine too). To do this within the franchise-promised seat numbers, two bays had to switch to airline, but there are six left and they are lined up with each other so eight anoraks (or normals) can sit together. The seats will be well aligned with windows, with no seats next to a deadlight.

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