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Elmwood is designing an airline-style catering offer for GNER. What would you design to improve the quality and enjoyment of train journeys and why?

‘Convenient, affordable, reliable, effortless and safe – five key values that any train operator must have at the heart of its business to make rail travel attractive. Once these foundations are in place a retail brand can be built and delivered through design. First move: give the staff the tools to do their job, then look at the environments and on-board experience.’

Rob Wood, Director, Brand Environment

‘Who are we improving the quality and enjoyment for? Rail passengers have all got different needs, currently they’re all being treated the same. Kids need somewhere to play; parents with babies, somewhere clean to feed and change them; the elderly, porters and places to easily store luggage; people with special needs, radical changes to access; holiday-makers, plenty of luggage space and seating that’s flexible to let you sit together; commuters, somewhere decent and clean to sit; business people, power sockets, flexible seating, private rooms for meetings, and for everyone, much, much, much better quality food and loos.’

Alex Willcock, Chairman, The Nest

‘Keep it simple. Keep it clean, make it consistent. Marks & Spencer’s quality, a good choice of food and a little wit and imagination. Exploit the seasonality of the UK. There is still a great range of regional food and drink available, so why not take advantage?’

Neil Bates, Partner, Cre’active Design

‘The problem for me is the crushing predictability of British rail travel. If we want people to use trains, let’s give them variety. How about carriages that are self-service cafés, newsagents, kids’ playrooms, TV lounges with bean bags, cinemas, bars, sleeping areas with no windows, work rooms for business travellers.’

Nigel Forsyth, Director, BamberForsyth Fitch

‘Remove first and second class and create zones around activities such as working, sleeping, drinking and eating and for different users such as children, football supporters (with the seats taken out to replicate those good ole standing-only stadiums) and people going on holiday. Information on what I’m passing by would be nice too, as would non-rattling cups and saucers.’

Clive Grinyer, Director of design and innovation, Design Council

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