Now is the time to redesign interior power supplies on passenger trains, as passenger needs demand change sooner rather than later.
Think about the last time you went on a long train journey. Was there a point where you realised your phone or laptop was getting really flat, and that soon you’d be completely out of power? Well, you’re not alone.
Passenger technology demands on all forms of transport are changing, and being able to easily recharge devices on-the-go is near the top of the list, along with Wi-Fi availability in areas with no 4G coverage, and on-board entertainment services. Aircraft interiors are starting to evolve to supply appropriate Wi-Fi coverage for passengers, but for rail passengers who have access to 4G networks, simply ensuring their devices can stay fully charged is usually sufficient for their needs.
“Baffled commuters took to social media to hit out after metal plates were screwed over charging points next to seats.” – The Scottish Sun
The easiest way to offer power to all passengers is to enable USB charging via the arm-rests, or somewhere near each individual seat. Most passenger trains have power outlets at various points in each carriage, but improving the availability of these points would allow multiple devices, or more power-hungry devices such as laptops, to be charged by passengers as well.
The need for passenger charging points is obvious, however there also needs to be clear indications that this is both allowed and encouraged, as the legality of using power points in transit is unclear to most commuters.
“London train passenger Robin Lee was arrested on suspicion of abstracting electricity, after using a plug socket to charge his phone in a carriage”, said BBC Newsbeat, “Ed Smyth, criminal lawyer at Kingsley Napley, told Newsbeat there are ’no hard and fast rules‘ when it comes to using plug sockets in public areas such as cafes and cinemas.”
Currently, passengers are advised to book seats with power sockets nearby, as there is no guarantee one will be available elsewhere. Power supplied via every passenger seat is the perfect upgrade for this need.
Many of the sockets available on the London Underground are there specifically for use while the train is in the depot, and marked “cleaners use only and not for public use”. It’s possible that equipment plugged into these sockets could be damaged when the power supply changes from one substation to another.
Engineers at Rockford have been developing customised power solutions for aircraft seating, and suggest that integrated power solutions within seats would be equally beneficial to upgrades for passenger rail services.
Rockford helps customers deliver highly ruggedised and complex platforms by integrating technology.
The process used at Rockford mitigates risk for customers by offering a one-stop-shop for all electrical requirements (electro-mechanical/electrical cable assemblies/design services/tailored logistics/on-site-support), simplifying complex, and often fragmented, supply chains with an open-source multi-supplier design. Incorporating partnerships with top-quality manufacturers, Rockford is able to offer best-in-class system solutions with bespoke designs for every customer.
Contact Rockford on 01394 420800 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.