Flytoget – new Airport Express train
Oslo’s Airport Express Train, Flytoget, is used by almost 8 million people every year and is the preferred means of transport to and from Oslo Airport. Built on universal design principles, Flytoget’s new train cars will offer a more comfortable experience for all passengers.
Commissioning party: Flytoget
Design: Seymourpowell (interior and exterior design) and Ring Mekanikk (seats)
Flytoget represents an important first encounter with Norway for many travellers and creating the best possible customer experience has been the number one priority since its start in 1998. An effort that has led to a customer satisfaction rate of 97 % for several years and a strong brand associated with being fast, sustainable and reliable.
But as several train cars reached an old technical age, the management saw a need to invest in new passenger coaches. Also, competing with national rail services from VY and all other forms of transport to and from Oslo, it was essential to keep creating a travel experience that distinguishes itself from the competition, using inclusive design from the very first sketch.
Lead users: Safety and union representatives, users from forum for participation in rail transport
Methods: User involvement, prototyping and testing
Awards: Category winner for Transport, Innovation Award for Universal Design 2020
97 % satisfied customers
Flytoget is committed to effectiveness, dependability, comfort, confidence, and good communication to deliver on their customer promises. This includes having the most frequent and punctual departures to and from Oslo Airport and the best travel guarantee and service, ensuring that passengers experience a pleasant journey no matter what happens.
At British design company Seymourpowell, an ambitious design team set out to build the best train car ever produced. The goal was to create something exceptional and truly inclusive that adhered to universal design principles but also exceeded them to create the preferred choice of transport for all passengers.
Flytoget focused on several user groups from the very start. Both employees (through the safety representative) and union representatives were involved, in addition to external parties. They included disabled users early on and during the design process to obtain the broadest possible insight and feedback on the new solutions.
Full-size test models were built in two rounds at the train manufacturing company CAF in Spain. These made it possible for user groups with various disabilities to test the product during the process and provide valuable direct feedback on the design solutions.
"Each of our normal cart are divided into four individual compartments which reduces the number of poeple in each area, reduces the stress of travelling. Everybody is facing in the same direction, seeing where their luggage is placed. Trying to reduce anxiety and promote calmness. There is a big screen delivering all the important information. All of these things are tricks in order to deliver upon our overall philosophy of tranquility. "
Jeremy White, Transport Director Seymourpowell
Throughout the entire process, the focus was on customer needs. What can be done to offer customers an even more comfortable and productive journey? The ambitious, skilled designers and a responsive train manufacturer enabled Flytoget to push the limits and create the ultimate train travel experience for a wide diversity of customers. This has resulted in new and innovative solutions, with inclusive design helping reach and enthuse the broadest possible customer base, also guaranteeing good profitability.
The new trains have wider seats, quieter interiors and larger windows for a better overall experience for all passengers. Automatic doors and flat floors also make it easier and safer for the elderly, visually impaired or disabled, including wheelchair users, to move safely between compartments. This also benefits all passengers such as travellers with children and prams, or those with a hot cup of coffee in one hand and a trolley bag in the other. Equally important, the passenger coaches have a separate, lightweight ramp on board that can be folded out quickly when stopping at stations with a platform with a height difference of between 55 and 75 cm. The middle coach has a special design with folding seats and an accessible toilet, and the entire set of train cars has audio induction loops for the hearing impaired. These trains are also the first in Norway to inform travellers which passenger coaches have empty seats before boarding.
The totality of services has also been improved further, including the ticketless travel system, real-time departure times, an informative website and intuitive mobile app, helpful attendants on board, and separate and clear signage at Oslo Central Station and Oslo Airport. With its new trains, Flytoget continues to maintain and focus on customer satisfaction in the future.
The case study was published with the permission of DOGA. Explore more case studies on DOGA website.
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