>The future of child friendly rail travel

>Have you ever been on a rail journey with children? Did your darling child sit quietly in his or her seat for the duration, or like most children fidget with boredom and want to explore the carriage, getting in everyone else’s way?

I’ve been on a few trips with my daughter by rail, usually not particularly long one’s, because as we all know any journey with a bored child is a nightmare waiting to happen. So what can be done to alleviate boredom for the kids and keep you sane? Nothing? Well no actually, take a look at this…….

So what on earth is it I hear you ask? It’s a state of the art, specially designed carriage for children from the ages of 5 to 15 years and their parents. The “Loud Zone”, designed by psychologist Emma Kenny and in conjunction with Family & Friends Railcard, will be split into 3 zones, kids, teens and parents in the middle enabling them to see at a glance (on their swivel chairs of course) exactly what their children are up to.

The younger zone will have dance mats, musical instruments and digital cameras to encourage them to capture images of their journey, with printers so they can take their pictures home with them as a reminder of their day. Where as the teen zone will have ipod and mp3 docking stations, internet access and computers where they can surf the net, and a chill out area with bean bags where they can relax and chat. And with the parents in the middle of the carriage on swivelling chairs offering them a view of the entire carriage, what more could you ask for – comfort, activities to keep the kids occupied and no need to worry about the amount of noise they’re making – noise is positively encouraged!

I’ve never come across a concept like this before and I would definitely consider rail travel with my daughter all over the UK rather than just shorter journeys if we had access to the “Loud Zone”. I think it’s just what is needed to make rail journeys of the future all the more enjoyable for families in the future and should be something that is considered by all of the major rail companies in future.

So what do you think of the concept? Is it a good idea? Would it work? What are your recommendations – what else would you like to see added to the concept to make it work for your own family for your future rail travel?

The first person who contributes their ideas to this post will receive their own Family & Friends Railcard Gift card which is a great excuse to get day tripping on trains, take a much needed holiday or just visit friends and family.

An annual Family & Friends Railcard costs just £26 per year and is valid for up to four adults and four children aged 5 – 15. It allows adults 1/3 off their rail fares and 60% off kids fares for the entire year, which if you use trains as a family is an absolute bargain in my opinion! To obtain your own Family and FriendsRailcard, just click here or be the first to contribute your ideas to this post and receive your own Family & Friends Railcard Gift card!

This is a sponsored post, please click on the Disclosure tab above to read my full disclosure policy. Open to UK entrants only.

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4 responses to “>The future of child friendly rail travel

  1. >I'm sorry, I think it's dire! Why are we encouraging children to be loud? Do we want adults who run around and shout and can't make conversation? Why are we segregating age groups – would you rather your child ran in a pack or learnt to socialise with ppl of varying ages? Why don't parents sit with their children and heaven forbid, talk to them?I took three children ages not 1, 7 and 10 on two trains a week ago. It was a lovely journey. They had DSs in case they needed them, we chatted about where we were going, looked at the scenery and interacted. There are pics on my blog of it in fact.It would help if there were seat sets with slightly more room between them – it was hard work managing a baby in normal seats. But other than that, I don't really see what we need to change. And I certainly wouldn't go in a Loud Zone with my kids – they would hate it if other kids were making a racket.

  2. >This is a really excellent idea and I would definitely travel more by train. I have four small children and journeys by train fill me with dread!My one concern would be, with the parents in the middle how I would stop my four year old escape artist getting out of the carriage. If the company can come up with a solution to that, I'm sold on the idea!

  3. >It's a nice idea- but I'd like to encourage the older ones to look out of the window, perhaps read and chat to them! I think it would be a toughie logistically to have enough seats for all the kids plus the parents in the same carriage. Though TBH I haven't got teenagers yet – just a 10-month old and he enjoys looking at passengers walking up and down the train and staring at the odd neighbouring toddler… I can imagine it would be useful for the 5year old stage up to pre-teen.

  4. >I survived by taking a laptop and booking a seat with a power socket so my 2 were happy to sit still for 2-3 hours watching movies. We didn't need a loud carriage they just need to put in more tables that a family can sit around.

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