The Innotrans show is huge. For example, remember the light rail car that I had seen being moved into the show on Monday? I still haven’t found where they have that particular car on display. There aren’t too many trade shows out there where you could loose an entire light rail car. The map and guide to the trade show is a nearly 700 page back-breaking phone book sized publication.
As it was the winner of the iF 2016 Design Award (an international product design group), the new Polish regional express train is one place to start as it shows some of the features being put into today’s railway equipment worldwide. It is intended for use on routes that are in the four hours or so in length range, so in that regard it is somewhat like what would be used on the likes of Amtrak Cascades types of services.
Though, it should be noted that the top speed of slightly over 150 mph is definitely not something we will see in Cascades service any time soon.
What we might call business class seating has a folding table so it is easier to get into and out of the seat than if the table were a fixed design. Electrical outlets are provided between the seats. There is a trash receptacle at the table too (see the open hatch close to the window).
Above each row of seats is an electronic sign, which gives the seat assignment for that particular seat.
However, the electronic gadgetry does not stop there by any means.
Some of the tables are a complete electronic system in their own right.
The display allows for menu selections to be made from the dining car, or it can be switched to show route and destination information. The circular device at the far end of the table in the photo is an inductive cell phone charger.
The regular coach seating isn’t quite a comfortable looking as you might expect, but it is what the regional train operator ordered and apparently fits their customer needs.
The entire train was built with a lower floor than standard equipment so that it is entirely at platform level (which in Poland is about a foot and a half above the rail height). It’s no curb-height light rail car, but it is still much lower than standard equipment and therefore required the use of some of the same construction methods that would be required in low floor equipment.
Glenn Laubaugh (“Glenn in Portland”) is part of the engineering staff at a small company in Portland that builds electrical equipment for railroad passenger cars.