Whilst attempting to better cater for massive patronage growth, the need for us to call into service every available item of rolling stock is becoming more the norm than the exception.
This includes all the converted NQR open wagons with cyclone mesh doors, noisy vibrating steel floors and dark, claustrophobic interiors.
With the introduction to traffic of new rolling stock still some way off, an engineering project was implemented to investigate ways in which we could reduce the negative impression that continuing to use these carriages would give to our patrons.
For those that have travelled in these carriages, you will know they come with a dark and uninviting interior, an outward appearance somewhat akin to a cattle truck with cyclone mesh gates as doors, uncomfortable wooden seats and a steel floor welded to the underframe which, let’s be honest, is hopeless at deadening the vibration and noise from the running gear and couplers.
Our investigation highlighted a number of fixes which could be quickly and cheaply implemented, and would improve the passenger experience no end when travelling in these vehicles:
- The insides of the roof and end walls, previously painted the same colour as the rest of the carriage, have now been painted white.
- The mesh and green canvas has been removed from the doors, replaced by wooden panels to the lower half, painted to match the rest of the vehicle.
- The floors are being covered with rubber sheeting, which should help improve the look and feel, dampen the noise and vibration, and reduce the risk of slipping on them when wet.
- Upholstered seat cushions
So far most of the planned work has been carried out, and the carriages have taken on a vastly improved appearance; a good example of simple, low cost works that can improve the passenger experience no end!