Rail vehicle design is a complex collaborative process involving inputs from a diverse range of experts, from passengers to production specialists, train operating staff to systems suppliers : no single individual or company “designs” a train.
The interior and exterior concept designs and their translation into production must carefully incorporate these inputs to deliver an enduring product appeal in a package which is compliant, robust, maintainable and comfortable.
Our skill is to assemble and lead teams and stakeholders to creatively elicit the best possible design combinations and outcomes.
We have well established design partnerships with associates specialising in disciplines including CX research, human factors, visualisation, structures and fire performance.
Through inspired co-creation with passengers, operators, manufacturers and approvals stakeholders, we deliver design solutions which surprise and delight.
Our design services include:
Vehicle interior layouts
Signage and way finding design
Work space and workstation design including drivers desks, train manager’s offices and on-board catering facilities
Passenger interior environment design
Exterior design and styling
Components and system design including seating, tables, toilets, luggage and bicycle storage.
Our work spans every aspect of the design process, from design research and definition of a brief, through concept generation to detailed production design and engineering delivered with a completed manufacturing and approvals package. We are happy to undertake turnkey design projects or to contribute smaller elements as part of a wider team.
Whatever your design project or challenge may be, we would love to hear about it and support its imaginative and successful realisation in every way possible.
We offer project management services based on Graham’s experience in this field covering a diverse and interesting portfolio of projects. As an example, undertaken during his time as a director at Atlantic Design, Graham played a key role in managing the design, construction and delivery of the Siemens “Going Underground Exhibition” at The Crystal, adjacent to London’s Victoria Dock.
This project formed part of the celebrations for London Underground’s 150th anniversary and included the creation of a 25m x 15m semi-permanent building on a brown-field site adjacent to the Siemens Sustainable Cities Exhibition Centre. Whist the pavilion was being assembled, a full-scale 18m long tube train concept mock-up was built and an accompanying exhibition was developed and installed.
Through successful collaboration with a number of sub-contractors across a wide range of industries, the project was completed in five months culminating in an exciting media launch event. The exhibition was then open to the public for a period of over a year.
With a budget of almost £1m, this project allowed Siemens to showcase its engineering capabilities to London Underground and Siemens subsequently won a competitive tender to design and supply London’s next generation of deep tube trains.
The Siemens Crystal
(Image Marcus Lyall, projection content ML Studio for Innovision. Projection mapping by Bluman Associates).
"Going Underground" pavilion drawings
Exhibition and mock-up commissioning
Pavilion on launch night
Dunstanville’s core capability lies in the development and delivery of design ideas into approved production reality. This relies on our knowledge of production techniques and technologies, materials, manufacturing processes, standards, approvals testing and a network of contacts throughout the industry supply chain.
Graham has acted as lead project engineer on numerous programmes and contributed project engineering services on many more. Examples include:
New deep tube train seats, engineered to be lighter, cheaper, more durable and safer than their coil sprung predecessors. This design went into service immediately prior to the London 2012 Olympic Games on the main London Underground line serving the Olympic Park, The Jubilee Line. It has now been introduced on the Northern Line and forms the basis for the cushion concept for the next generation of tube trains.
A crashworthy cab desk design meeting specific crash injury protection criteria for drivers and other train crew whilst requiring minimal physical testing and through-life maintenance. Incorporating a series of specially designed, energy absorbing crash-pads, such a concept had not been produced before and was introduced on Hitachi’s Class 395 Javelin trains. It is now incorporated within all Hitachi IET Class 800 train cabs and Hitachi ASR Class 385s.
Anthropometric studies of a proposed train seating layout for Sydney’s New Intercity Trains. Downer and CRRC went on to supply the Sydney Growth Train fleet of 24 8-car train sets.
Fire performance management
Structural analysis management
Ergonomics and Human Factors management
Customer Experience Engagement
Graham has been instrumental in several in-depth Customer Experience (CX) research programmes:
Customer experience research is now a major part of bid programmes, and fundamental to bid success.
The processes involved can identify unique and distinguishing ideas and features.
A sound CX research programme illustrates to operators that passengers’ thinking, behaviour and requirements have been carefully considered.
Observation of the process and its output provides a very different (non-technical) perspective from which designers and engineers can review and assess their proposals.
A variety of techniques and approaches can be applied including ethnographies, co-creation workshops, bio-metric monitoring and online communities.
Our experience allows us to tailor rail specific CX programmes and resources for our clients.
Seeking the best Customer Experience outcomes
Working with your customers to see just how good things could be (image Oliver Pelling)
Detailed research and engagement with special needs groups to ensure accessibility and comfort for all
Customer engagement throughout the product development programme to optimise Customer Experience outcomes in service
Undertaking live trials to help understand and improve passengers' daily experiences (Class 455 trial shown here)
Bid support is a key element of our business. This can mean working alongside major manufacturers or consortia to bid for the supply of turnkey projects or complete new train fleets. We also work with operators bidding for passenger service franchises and, of course, we support systems and component manufacturers as they bid to supply products into new build and refurbishment projects.
Bidding is an intensive process, where the stakes are high, time is of the essence and there is no margin for error. In our experience, optimised communication through co-location is at the core of a successful bid team: providing a shared sense of purpose and direction.
Graham has been lucky enough to work in Australia on three bids for new rolling stock fleets, leading directly (and indirectly) to two contract awards. On all three occasions, Graham was co-located with the bid teams in Sydney and Melbourne. These were complex bids supported by companies from all over the world. The team spirit within these groups of between 70 and 100 individuals was outstanding and these experiences provided a huge amount of insight and knowledge.
Of particular interest was the Interactive Tender Process (ITP) operated by the state governments. This system allowed weekly interaction sessions between bidder and customer on a range of technical and commercial topics. Graham was a key contributor to these sessions and gained a great deal from them.
Advances in communication technology and security mean that virtual co-location is now also a realistic and effective option. Team working environments such as Huddle, Slack and Circuit allow us to work closely with international colleagues whilst minimising physical travel. Working in this way requires a different set of communication skills and even more trust in the team’s capabilities. We have recently enjoyed working on a number of programmes in this way and look forward to doing so even more in the future.
Our typical output and contribution to bids includes:
Customer Experience (CX) Research
Bid returnable documents
Design books / brochures
Design delivery strategies
Interactive Tender Process meetings
Feasibility modelling, e.g. Legion passenger flow modelling
That winning feeling!
Long haul passenger locomotive concept
Long haul passenger locomotive
Driver's desk and interior environment
Desk design Graham Love with Downer Group, image Atlantic Design and 3Digit Studio.
Mock-ups large and small have been an exciting part of Graham’s rail vehicle design story.
The process can encompass everything from a very simple spatial mock-up constructed in lightweight foamboard to facsimile mock-ups of several complete vehicles. The development process now incorporates virtual reality, as a means of reducing the cost of mock-ups and the building space associated, cutting the need for travel via remote access and providing simulation of changing environments and details (e.g. weather, PIS content etc.).
Our philosophy is to design and create mock-ups using the simplest means possible that allow design details to be resolved through planned testing and customer trial. We start by defining a suitably detailed mock-up specification, agreed with the client, to ensure accurate cost management and optimum detail resolution. We also generate a time plan incorporating the necessary dependencies, lead times and granularity to minimise project risk and ensure timely delivery.
Our long association with the leading manufacturers of large mock-ups and models allows us to use the latest CAD CAM techniques and our relationship with the industry supply chain means that robust and realistic pre-production prototypes can be used where appropriate.
Where simpler development mock-ups are the solution, these can be produced in house. We also have significant experience of managing the transportation, delivery and exhibition of mock-ups at third party venues.
Whatever your mock-up requirements may be, we will be happy to offer a range of solutions to provide the flexibility and certainty of outcome you need.