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Passenger comfort: Enabling the modal shift from road to rail

Passenger comfort: Enabling the modal shift from road to rail

Passengers today expect convenient and flexible travel options – sustainable solutions that are accessible, comfortable and convenient.  Innovations that continuously optimise vehicles to meet these expectations can encourage more people to demand a modal shift from the historic dependence on individual car use to fast and efficient modern public transit. Bombardier’s leading technologies and design marry comfort with speed as never before. From long distance journeys to commuter travel, the next generation of Bombardier trains delivers a smooth and quiet ride with sleek, spacious interiors ideally suited for both work and play.

For years, commuters have had to squeeze themselves into overcrowded and often outdated trains on their journeys to work. These trains transporting high volumes of passengers too often compromised on comfort and accessibility. Today, the new SPACIUM train offers operators and commuters an unprecedented transport solution. With its spacious and colourful design, this 21st century vehicle for large numbers of passengers defines a new standard of capacity and comfort for commuter application.

The secret of the train is its exceptional width of 3.06 m, offering an optimized capacity of five seats per row. The commuter train’s legroom equals that of a regional train, while its 55 cm wide corridors allow passengers to move freely. It is highly flexible in operation, with a length from five to 12 cars. The wide doors combined with the step-free entrances and the large vestibules improve passengers’ ease and speed of boarding and exiting.

The SPACIUM train’s innovative design rests on the idea of a welcoming environment combining colours, lights and open space. The colourful design with its smooth curves creates an enjoyable and serene environment for daily commuter journeys. Windows make up half of the train’s sides. The train includes new technologies such as LED lighting and the ThermoEfficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning system for reduced energy consumption, as well as a state-of-the-art information and entertainment system. Bombardier conceived this new modular product platform for SNCF commuter services in the Greater Paris Ile-de-France Region. The first “Francilien” train entered service in December 2009. The SPACIUM train is on display at InnoTrans 2012.

BOMBARDIER OMNEO Electric Multiple Unit
Another innovative rail vehicle from France is Bombardier’s OMNEO train – the world’s first articulated double-deck Electric Multiple Unit (EMU), with alternating single and double-deck cars. It offers both exceptional capacity and increased passenger comfort compared to conventional rail vehicles. Its extra-wide carbody of approximately 3 m is 20 cm wider than conventional double-deck EMUs. The train’s modular concept makes it suitable for commuter, regional and intercity services, with maximum speeds of 160 km/h or 200 km/h. The lightweight vehicle construction combined with excellent weight distribution minimises axle load and creates flexibility for cross-border operation on all European networks.


The OMNEO train’s single deck and double-deck cars have different functions. Single deck cars are dedicated to access and services with wide doors, large vestibules, and a large portfolio of interior equipment, e.g. toilets, bicycle areas. All technical equipment is mounted on the roof of the single deck cars to increase space inside the train for passengers. Double-deck cars are dedicated to capacity and comfort. There are no doors, toilets or traction equipment in the double-deck areas to increase acoustic and thermal comfort.

The train also offers improved accessibility thanks to wide doors (1.6 m), large vestibules (6 m²), wide gangways (2.3 m) and corridors (600 mm in 2+2 seat configuration), and step-free entrance for platforms between 550 mm and 920 mm in height. Bombardier designed this completely new vehicle in answer to the SNCF’s tender for 860 double-deck EMUs for the French Regions; it is called “Regio 2N” in France.

BOMBARDIER FLEXITY trams and light rail vehicles (LRVs)
The proven FLEXITY family of trams and LRVs not only offers increased capacity and ecological technologies to improve urban flow and sustainable transport, it also introduces new levels of comfort to this successful mode of urban transportation. Wide double doors and maximised aisle width throughout the vehicles ensure fast passenger flow while extra large windows ensure passengers can enjoy the panoramic city scenery during the journey. Stop-request buttons are accessible from every seat and an optimised heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system guarantees thermal comfort throughout the year. A passenger infotainment system with highly visible large-screen displays completes the enjoyable ride experience with FLEXITY vehicles.

The portfolio’s unique design concept – creative customisation based on standardised components – allows operators to choose a distinctive look that reflects the essential character of a city. The number of seats and aisle width can be adapted to suit each city’s individual needs.

BOMBARDIER PRIMOVE e-mobility solution
Based on inductive power transfer, the emission-free PRIMOVE system transfers energy at very high levels of efficiency between components hidden underground and receiving equipment installed beneath the vehicle. This allows electric rail and road vehicles to be charged either in motion (dynamic charging) or while stationary (static charging) without affecting driving habits or journey times. Recharging is driver-friendly and hassle-free thanks to the intelligent vehicle detection function that makes the charging process fully automated. Minimal emissions and noise ensure quieter and more enjoyable journeys.

BOMBARDIER ZEFIRO family of high speed trains
The ZEFIRO is one of the world’s fastest very high speed trains with a maximum operating speed of 380 km/h, and a sleeper version that reaches 250 km/h. It also offers unrivalled, customized comfort, smart design, and operational flexibility. It competes with air travel in terms of travelling times on distances of up to 700 km.

The trains’ high-class aerodynamic performance is a key element in reducing excessive noise. This provides environmental advantages related to noise pollution controls and offers increased comfort for riders. Train cars and connection points are designed to reduce pressure differences when traveling in and out of tunnels at high speeds. The overall design of the trains is highly innovative as evidenced by the fact that the ZEFIRO 380 train has already received two prestigious design awards: the German iF Product Design Award as well as the 2011 Good Design Award from the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. In addition, the train has also been nominated for the renowned 2013 German Design Award.

The flexible TALENT 2 train offers high passenger comfort for urban and regional rail travel. In addition to its comfortable standard seats, the state-of-the-art train has several options for improving riding comfort for longer journeys, including different seating arrangements, types of seats and various fittings such as foldable tables and fixed or stowed armrests. The train’s media package for comprehensive information and excellent entertainment can be integrated easily into the BOMBARDIER MITRAC TCMS train control system. The operator can decide what information and entertainment is provided.

To ensure passengers feel safe, the train can be equipped with a CCTV system; BOMBARDIER SEKURFLO offers various levels of train surveillance. Cameras, monitors and intelligent analysis programs function as an early warning system. The train can be equipped with colour cameras in each car. The TALENT 2 train platform is also set up to accommodate ticket machines and validators in its multi-purpose areas for quick and easy access. When used for regional and long-distance networks, the train can be fitted with an electronic seat reservation system. Operators also have the option to integrate a child’s play area to make longer journeys even more family friendly.

BR 430 series electric multiple unit (EMU)
These energy efficient four-car EMUs are fitted with 24 electrical swivel-sliding doors with bridge plates for more safety during boarding and exiting. The wide centre aisles of the vehicle and the accessible gangways allow for comfortable, convenient and safe passenger flow within and between cars.

The spacious clearance above the seat backrests ensures excellent visibility throughout the complete interior length of the train. A high level of openness, in addition to four video security cameras per car, increases passenger safety. Onboard monitors display information on rail traffic in real time.

BOMBARDIER TWINDEXX Vario double-deck train
The BOMBARDIER TWINDEXX Vario double-deck train platform combines high capacity with exceptional flexibility for operators to configure trains according to their needs. It offers an ideal solution for high passenger volumes on regional and longer distance routes with short platforms. The train can be operated as an EMU or with a locomotive and its coaches are compatible with previous generation double-deck coaches. The BOMBARDIER MITRAC 1000 drive and control system allows the train to accelerate quickly to a constant speed. The train can reach a speed of 160 km/h and, optionally, up to 189 km/h. The train’s modern, optimized front design improves side wind stability and reduces energy consumption.

TWINDEXX Vario trains provide low-floor and high-floor entrances with wide doors. In combination with sliding steps this allows easy access by reducing the gap in height between the vehicle and the platform. In addition to comfortable seats and spacious luggage racks, the new TWINDEXX Vario long-distance trains are, for the first time, equipped with cycle racks. A bright multi-purpose or family area enables children to be entertained. Provision for wireless Internet, mobile phone support and numerous electrical sockets for the convenient operation of electronic equipment are also included. TWINDEXX Vario trains are operating successfully in Germany, Denmark, Israel, Poland and Luxembourg.

Depending on the track layout and the train performance, the state-of-the-art CITYFLO 650 communications-based train control (CBTC) solution can achieve headways of less than 60 seconds. This results in increased capacity and shorter waiting times for passengers at stations. The CITYFLO 650 solution is suitable for new highly demanding urban lines and can be overlaid on existing lines without interrupting service, again benefiting passengers.

The solution reduces wear on the track and vehicles, and enables remote monitoring of all subsystems. The diagnostics data helps to identify failure trends (providing predictive maintenance features) and aids preventive maintenance to further improve operations. The automatic train operation system provides precision stopping at platforms and automatic door operation.