A future vision for the train travel experience.
With tourism in Europe expected to continue its upward trend, the demand for sustainable transport options is more pressing than ever. Recognising the environmental implications of ones transport choices, tourists are seeking ways to reduce their CO2-footprint while pursuing meaningful experiences. Railways aligns greatly with these demands. However, today we see an ‘attitude-behavior gap,’ where consciousness around sustainable travel isn’t translating into people’s travel choices. This project aims to improve the user experience of train travel to make it a natural choice for cross boarder travels in Europe in 2035.
Today train offers a sense of adventure that travellers appreciate. However, the experience can be challenging as the planning and on-journey experience require travellers to navigate all aspects of the journey themselves. In order to spark a sense of exploration and boost confidence across the experience I’ve designed a digital solution that focus on creating a flexible and seamless travel experience. The application is taking advantage of community-driven inspiration, multi-destination booking, personalisation of the experience, comprehensive information to help anticipate the journey ahead and a seamless rebooking system. All in an account based platform.
Let us skip the next flight and get back Ontrack.
How can we improve the experience making train the preferred choice for travellers in Europe 2035?
In the interviews with train travellers, several key themes emerged.
Need for control. In the stories from the travellers the lack of control was mentioned as a big pain point. They experience difficulty understanding and predict the experience ahead as well as expressing worries about cancellations and delays - this lack of control makes most travellers feel uneasy.
The smoothness of the trip is your responsibility. Unlike the catered experience on flights train travel can involve a lot of stressful situations, like missed departures or difficulties finding your way in new, unfamiliar destinations. If anything goes wrong with their trip it is up to the individual traveller to solve it, wether it’ll be finding new departures or rescheduling your trip all together.
Planning a trip is hard to navigate. A lot of the people I spoke with mentioned this as one of the biggest pains. Planning a trip requires a lot of knowledge and research takes a lot of time. Some experienced travellers enjoy the research process of finding exciting unique routes. Almost all travellers use forums and blogs to find inspiration and practical information about routes in Europe.
Complicated booking process. The booking of international tickets does often need to involve multiple ticket vendors, it is rarely possible to travel through more than 2 countries on a single ticket. This is due to a lack of collaboration between the different national rail operators.
Travellers value the opportunity to explore.Train travel offers opportunity to see more of what you pass which gives it a particular appeal to most of the interviewees. Also the natural opportunity of stopping along the way, adding detours to your trip, is a unique thing in the experience compared to traveling by air plane.