Attention to Detail Makes for a Comfortable Ride
February 15, 2017
Forget any preconceived notions you have about what it’s like to sit on a train. When privately owned Brightline passenger trains debut next summer the seats and the attention to detail will wow South Florida residents and leisure travelers alike.
Rockwell Group had never worked on trains but the firm is well known for its expert design work in hotels, restaurants and cruise ships. They brought a fresh perspective to Brightline and its train interiors.
“For us it was really about a mix of durability and comfort and a signaling of a luxury experience,” Taft says.
A team representing Brightline, Rockwell and Sacramento, California-based Siemens, which built the Brightline passenger trains, did a huge amount of research on what train seats are like, both in the U.S. and Europe. Early discussions centered on creating customized seat shells, the shape of the seat and headrest, the angle of the seat and how wide the seats would be in Brightline’s two product offerings, Select and Smart.
Materials were carefully scrutinized and samples were “subjected to a vigorous wear test, with the goal that they would always feel fresh and new,” Taft says.
Like everything on Brightline trains, the seats are American made in Bellwood, Illinois. The Brightline passenger trains are also 100% ADA accessible. In fact, the entire train is 100% Buy America compliant utilizing components from more than 40 suppliers in 20 states.
Whether in a 21″ wide Select seat or 19” wide Smart seat, Brightline travelers will find a high-backed and properly cushy personal space. The seats are made of synthetic and fine-grain leather, strategically placed for comfort – there is real leather, for instance, down the middle saddle of the seat and on the headrest. There is also an easier to clean/maintain synthetic leather on the sides and backs of the seats where guests will likely be grabbing and touching with their hands the most.
The look says classy and that’s partly because of the stitching pattern, which also aids in comfort, Taft says.
“The stitching was based not on looking at railroad seats or even airplane seats but on luxury car interiors and the kinds of patterns that luxury car manufacturers use,” he explains.
Each seat reclines in place, sliding down and back, so you won’t disturb your neighbor’s legroom and so the person in front of you doesn’t invade your space.
Built-in power outlets and USB ports mean never having to worry about having enough power to watch a movie on your personal device or catch up on work on your laptop, while taking advantage of Brightline’s free and powerful Wi-Fi. Above the seats are convenient, built in reading lights.
Multi-task tray tables at the seats have two positions, one for if you just want to protect a drink or prop-up your tablet and the other if you need more space to work or dine. In each coach, there are also configurations of four seats that face a table for those who need more space to spread out.
As you move about the train, you’ll notice that every aisle seat has an ergonomic, metal grip handle that’s been carefully designed so that you won’t disturb the person in the seat. And every seat is a window seat – strategically placed so that everyone can look out of the extra-large windows. There are also shades to keep out the hot Florida sun.
Riders can reserve seats in the Select or Smart coaches when booking tickets on Brightline’s mobile app, website or at station kiosks.
The first trainset, BrightBlue, recently arrived in West Palm Beach and is currently undergoing testing. BrightPink arrives soon with three more trainsets to follow. Brightline will begin train service this summer between Miami and West Palm Beach, with a stop at the Fort Lauderdale train station. Future Brightline train service will link South Florida to Orlando. Are you ready to ride?