Kiel introduces new seat model for intercity and high speed rail travel
Comfort Line to enhance premium travel experience with ergonomic, modern design; Stadler Rail already incorporates over 1,400 seats in MTR Express Sweden, other projects to follow
Kiel, a trendsetting seat provider to transit systems around the world, announced that Comfort Line, its newest train seat model for intercity and high speed rail, is now available in North America. The completely newly engineered seat with many premium-quality options is already being integrated in several high-profile projects in Europe, most recently into the prestigious MTR Express line in Sweden. As the intercity and high speed rail market is gaining traction, the German-based transit seating manufacturer with a North American presence and production facilities in Elkhart, Indiana, has decided to offer the newly developed Comfort Line model to customers in the Americas as well.
According to Thomas Schwank, General Manager of Kiel North America, the relatively new niche market for train builders and suppliers distinguishes itself from more traditional local and regional transport in various ways:
"As an increasingly attractive alternative to air travel and automobiles, high speed rail needs to cater to travelers who are used to a great degree of comfort and top-of-the-line amenities. Also, design is certainly an important aspect of fast long-distance rail travel and with Comfort Line Kiel is offering a market-proven, highest-quality solution."
Over 1,400 Kiel premium-quality intercity seat models have recently been integrated into a fleet of six Stadler FLIRTs (Fast Light Innovative Regional Train) that are owned and operated by MTR Express. Commencing commercial service in March 2015 on the route between Stockholm and Gothenburg, a busy 300 mile coast-to-coast stretch between Sweden’s two largest cities, the 70% low-floor EMUs are designed to offer a premium travel environment for business and leisure travelers.
Given only a tight, one-year timeframe, Kiel collaborated closely with Stadler Rail and MTR Express to deliver a state-of-the-art seating solution that integrates harmoniously into the spacious layout of the trains and offers passengers an exceptionally clean, modern, as well as ergonomically correct design. Each train of the MTR Express fleet is
equipped with 121 Kiel Comfort Line double seats which combine maximum comfort and remarkable amenities with the highest safety standards.
Johan Söör, the CEO of MTR Sweden comments that:
“MTR Express offers a completely new customer experience in intercity travel. From technology and sustainability to design and service delivery, we want to make sure our customers can enjoy a modern and innovate way to enjoy long-distance rail travel. The Kiel COMFORTLINE reflects this vision to one hundred percent and we have already received a lot of positive feedback around our modern and ergonomic Kiel COMFORTLINE seats.”
“This first project with partners MTR Express and Stadler Rail sets entirely new standards for the customer experience in intercity travel,” comments Gerhard Hellweg, CEO of the global Kiel Group. “With a truly amazing concept and strong market experience, both companies know what it takes to redefine comfort and functionality in fast long-distance rail travel and Kiel is extremely pleased that the Comfort Line design was such an ideal fit.”
Although the MTR Express line offers only one class accommodation, all 242 seats per train are equipped with advanced upholstery technologies integrating the use of sinous springs. The ergonomically formed seat provides an extremely comfortable travel space and single seat widths up to over 20 inches. The seat depth and back inclination adjusts smoothly and silently through a sophisticated locking lever system, since the back rest is fixed at a 19 degree angle, however, other travelers will not be inconvenienced by any seat adjustments. An extendable table and a vanity shelf for smaller items, like cell phones or reading glasses, are incorporated in the seat back but remain in a sturdy position as regardless of any changes in inclination of the seat in front.
A multitude of other extras further optimize the travel experience; ranging from adjustable LED reading lights integrated below the contoured head rest, to a multi-functional middle compartment with power outlets, magazine nets, and Kiel’s signature adjustable foot and foldable arm rests which have been extensively tested to withstand highest stresses. Kiel’s Comfort Line seats will soon be the seating solution of choice for 42-set project with Stadler Rail and Waadtländer Bahnen in the French-speaking part of Switzerland as well. The Polish manufacturer PESA will integrate the seats into its 20-set DART trains in the very near future.
Founded in 1945 in Nördlingen, Germany, Kiel is a leading manufacturer of innovative passenger seating systems for commercial vehicles and public transportation, including seating solutions for buses and trains on the local, regional, and intercity level. Kiel seats distinguish themselves with their high quality, sophisticated technology, and their contemporary design while meeting the highest requirements both in safety and passenger comfort. Kiel conducts business worldwide with manufacturing facilities in the United States, Germany, Poland, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, and Turkey and dedicated sales teams in Greece, France, Austria, and the UK.
About MTR Express
Private railway company MTR Express is a globally active private rail operator with its headquarters in Hong Kong. It was founded in Hong Kong 1975 as ”Mass Transit Railway Corporation” to build and operate the metro in Hong Kong. It has been active in Sweden since 2009, where it operates the Stockholm underground. It belongs to one of the world’s largest global railway corporations with 11 million journeys every weekday, and has been listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange since 2000.
Stadler Rail Group, system supplier of customer-specific solutions for rail vehicle construction, has locations in Switzerland (Altenrhein, Bussnang, Winterthur and Biel), in Germany (Berlin-Pankow, Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, Berlin-Reinickendorf and Velten), in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, Belarus, Algeria, and in the USA. The Group has a workforce of around 6,000 people, of which 3,000 are based in Switzerland. Furthermore, Stadler Rail manufactures metre-gauge trains, passenger carriages and locomotives and is the world’s leading manufacturer of rack-and-pinion rail vehicles.
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