Midland Mainline

managing a huge-scale project

Midland Mainline had a problem. Customers were complaining that their trains were uncomfortable, and staff agreed. Rather than buy in a standard product, they asked us to create a bespoke inter-city train, with all-new interiors and a unique exterior. This huge, complex project took us from blank page to a full-scale industrial mock up in just six months. 

In transport design, every detail is important — and that means thorough research.

We talked to a wide range of Midland Mainline passengers and staff, as well as their brand team, 

to better understand their idea of what a comfortable, modern Midland Mainline train should be like.

The new interior feels like a relaxed, contemporary hotel, with ergonomic seating and with lighting integrated into luggage racks for a spacious, welcoming atmosphere.

We designed the exterior to capture a traditional sense of ‘locomotive’ but in a strong contemporary idiom, whilst working to strict guidelines on crash structures, vision lines and the driver’s cabin.

Seymourpowell has a belief and a conviction in what it does. Its attention to detail is phenomenal

 Malcolm Brown, Customer Services Director, Midland Mainline

Right on time, our team delivered a full-scale mock-up and complete set of digital surfaces, ready for manufacturer Bombardier Transportation in Bruges to get to work.


The Meridian train has gradually replaced the old fleet, helping Midland Mainline boost capacity whilst giving customers a more comfortable and reliable service.