Seating on Northern’s New Trains ….

Posted on September 4th, 2016, by The Chairman

Stakeholders were invited to view the potential new seating (3 types) for Northern’s new trains at Victoria last Thursday and Friday.

Here’s me and Martin Keating from Northern’s Performance Team trying out option A. (Martin was very helpful with us on performance, but moved up in the team, now being involved with Delay Attrbution [who gets identified for delays caused]).


My preference was for seating C – comfy, lower seat back affording better views, a good tray table which wouldn’t accumulate dirt, but with a grab handle which I didn’t like as I thought anyone grabbing it and missing might get caught in it.

The invitation wording follows: –

Dear Stakeholder,

I would like to invite you to a special stakeholder participation event being held at Manchester Victoria station on the following dates:-

1st September: 07:00 – 19:00
2nd September: 14:30 – 19:00

These are the first of a series of interactive sessions being organised to share our plans for investing £1billion to transform rail travel in the North, including the introduction of 98 state of the art new trains by 2020. As the business prepares to deliver this, and other exciting projects, we are keen to ensure that the right improvements for both customers and stakeholders are made, and where possible, would like you to be involved with helping to shape our plans.

By attending this event, you will have the opportunity to see some of the key design features of the new trains; specifically the new seats. Representatives will be available to answer questions, invite your input and gather any feedback that you would like to share on the new seat designs.

This ‘new seats roadshow’ is one of many engagement events that are being organised over the coming months. Empowering stakeholders to inform and influence their travel experience in the future really is a key part of Northern’s plans for this franchise, of which the introduction of 93 new trains is just one of the ways Northern is transforming the standard of rail travel in the North. Other investments will include:

• Upgrading 243 trains
• Adding 2,000 extra services a week by 2019
• Adding 400 extra Sunday services by 2019
• Making free on board wifi available to all our customers from 2018
• Creating a faster inter-urban network

Please leave a comment

  1. Liam Sumpter (Director, Central Region, Northern) Says:

    Hi John,

    I am glad you enjoyed the roadshow though my preference was for seat A, so we’ll see which got the popular vote in due course!

    This was just the first step in showing our passengers and stakeholders what we can all look forward to in the future. It takes a long time to build trains and this is the proof that something is happening… I look forward to showing you more in the future ahead of their much anticipated arrival.


  2. sally buttifant Says:

    Tried out the seats today at Lime Street – excited re the plug & USB port under the seat …. Re the seats I liked A, didn’t like B & my favourite was C but very close A & C.

  3. Richard Boyd Says:

    As someone who is 6′ tall, the problem I have with modern train seating is not the comfort of the individual seat but the pitch i.e. the distance between the seats when arranged in airline mode. Unfortunately this is never really enough unless you get a priority seat, which is a matter of luck. I live in hope that the railway industry will eventually start designing interiors which can comfortably accommodate all passengers rather than just average-sized ones.

  4. Jen Says:

    Turns out the actual seats are ‘none of the above’, they are actually an improved version of the unpopular type. Richard Clinnick has shared some images of the new trains at the CAF factory on his Twitter account:

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