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Train interior design vision

NS has one clear commission: to bring travellers from one station to another. But in addition to bringing travellers to their destinations safely and on time, we also want to offer our passengers something extra. But what one traveller needs may be something that is irritating to another. That is why we want you to be able to organise your journey the way you like. Your travel time should belong entirely to you.


The train traveller is the focus of NS' train interior vision. Based on a detailed analysis of the various user needs, Mecanoo and Gispen have designed an innovative and sustainable train concept that meets the needs of our rail passengers. 

Project Architect Arne Lijbers: “We have utilised our experience with designing innovative working- and living concepts, in thinking in terms of the experience of the space, to come up with an entirely new approach to train travel. The train will become a public space that people enjoy being in, where they feel at home, and can call their own. Not just a box with seats, but a fully coherent design.” 

For one person, the train is an office, for others it is a study hall or a meeting place. Based on an analysis of the train travellers' activities and profiles, a palette of interior elements has been developed to optimally support each of the various activities. The train is a carefully designed public space, where you can do everything you want to do during your journey. And thanks to an intelligent division into zones, you can do that without bothering the other passengers. This will make the train more than just a way to get from point A to point B; it will be a pleasant space where you can do what you enjoy most in the train.

Modular and circular 

The design of the interior elements is based on a modular system, which makes it possible to adjust and vary the interior of each individual compartment. With Gispen's knowledge of circular furniture production, the ideas can become reality, and we will enter a new phase of train travel, aboard the trains of the future.

In order to gain an impression of this new form of train travel, we have constructed a 3D model to explore with VR goggles. Walking through a virtual train compartment is a unique experience, allowing us to feel how the interior design shines a new light on the train as we know it today. Thousands of people had an opportunity to experience and test the new design at Dutch Design Week 2018 and Innovation Expo, which were the Dutch public's first introduction to the new interior design vision. We also took the opportunity to conduct surveys and ask people to fill in brief questionnaires about their first impressions.

These first impressions and survey results were extremely positive, but they also provided input for further research. Which elements are clearly designed, which ones raise too many questions, and what do people think just isn't practical aboard a train? These insights provided us with more information for drawing up a testing plan.

Starting in March 2019, we will invite travellers from the NS panel to help us test and elaborate the details of the design, together with our train builder colleagues and our own NS personnel. That way, we can see if we are on the right path towards accommodating the travellers' needs. But we also aim to focus on safety and legislation. Are the trains easy to clean and maintain? Are they comfortable? Do the travellers understand what this space is supposed to be used for? Through a series of tests, we hope to find the answers to these questions and more.

If you would like to see what the NS interior design vision looks like, visit the link below and take a 3D tour via your computer or smartphone.