Schoenemann Design founder Andrew Schoenemann says Hitachi approached the consultancy and asked if it could design a flexible modular train carriage that could be adapted for the commuter and regional markets.
These two designs became the AT100 Commuter and the AT200 Regional, which have the same form and exterior shell.
The 20m-long AT100 has curved draught screens to provide passengers with extra foot room, while a central vestibule pole system and multiple perch seats provide standing passengers with “a reasonable level of comfort”.
The AT200 has 23m-long carriages, is designed for inter-urban and regional routes and has “a more European design aesthetic” than other UK trains, according to Schoenemann.
Open-ended carriages mean that a continuous gangway allows passengers to walk the length of the train without interruption.
Schoenemann says: “It’s a very modular design; the seats and tables are cantilevered so there’s nothing on the floor, which means it’s easy to clean and there are no intrusions into the floor.”
He says that the seats, which have been crash-tested, are also easy to reconfigure, if a train operator needs to change the arrangement.
The beige-coloured business-class seats are made of leather and feature integrated seat reservation systems, which can be accessed by using a QR code and booked in real-time if someone decides to sit in an empty seat.
Both the AT100 and AT200 have been designed with large windows to let as much light in as possible and create the sensation of greater space.
The design, which has already been prototyped, is set to go into production and is expected to roll out in 18 months.
It is already destined for the Glasgow to Edinburgh route in Scotland. Hitachi Rail Europe will supply the trains to Dutch rail firm Abellio, which has won a ten-year ScotRail contract, taking over form FirstGroup.