20 Dec 2010
On not making the best use of space
As is well known, the British loading gauge is notoriously tight. But some designs of train do not make the best use of the room that is available. A common complaint is that passengers sitting next to the window cannot put both feet on the floor straight in front of them, due to the lower bodyside curve, and a skirting duct, which take away the space.
The obvious explanation is that the lower bodyside curvature is to fit inside the loading gauge, but this cannot be the case as the steps stick out beyond the bodyside itself. All that space could therefore be inside the train, to the benefit of the passengers.
As for the step itself, this could more usefully be made to extend when the doors opened, so that there would be no need to mind the gap. The lower bodyside curvature on this Swedish train is needed as some platforms are high, some are low, and this part of the vehicle is the low-floor section in the centre car of the 3-car X31 unit. The odd thing is that both trains come from the same manufacturer so one would have thought that people in the company would talk to each other to the point that it showed in the finished product.