First Great Western has unveiled the first of the new interiors for its high-speed trains, as part of a £63m overhaul. The launch comes as a group of customers refused to pay fares on the service this week in protest against what they claim are unacceptable delays and overcrowding.
The redesign, by Michael Rodber in his capacity as founder of specialist transportation design company Jones Garrard Move, is a result of more than two years of design work. It covers everything from seats, lighting and toilets, to power points, catering and décor.
Rodber was tasked with updating the interiors of the trains to live up to modern passenger needs, as well as improve comfort. In response to the brief, he has created new standard-class seats, which encourage a comfortable posture, leather-trimmed first-class seats, lighting and a bar.
First class features taupe and blue, while standard is lilac and blue.
Lighting has been changed to give a brighter overall feel and glass screens replace the old partitions of the luggage rack.
The buffet car has been redesigned and is now called the Express Café. This will offer freshly ground coffee and brewed coffee, as well as a wide range of snacks.
Rodber says, ‘It started as a design project and got a lot bigger. They recognised their lighting and seating potential and it cascaded as they got more involved.’