Some random thoughts that passed through my head during my recent Amtrak trip – which went fairly well.
I don’t warrant that they’ll all be winners, popular or successful. Just some brainstorming.
- Showers. $5.
- Real bathrooms, even if it means there are fewer of them. Despite being better than airliner bathrooms, women don’t really appreciate them in their current state – and neither do most men.
- Way better facilities for disabled and less mobile persons. 24″ wide winding staircases and airline-style bathrooms at the bottom of those stairs say “Stay away” to a lot of people.
- Add some family-friendly features. There are no diaper changing tables, no place for kids to mingle and play, no family-only cars where families could avoid things that they don’t want their kids to see at whatever age.
- Rails. Man o man the continuous welded rail in the West smokes the rails elsewhere. Quieter, smoother, faster.
- Add a middle business class. Right now, there’s coach and sleepers. There’s room for another tier in some areas I suspect.
- Fix the low-end sleepers. Most people who have them comment about them being cramped and uncomfortable.
- Text message the current train position, estimated arrival (relative to that position) to subscribed mobile devices.
- Information stations on LCD panels in each car so you know where you are, what the next stop is, how long you’ll be there, what the dining car menu is, etc.
- Wireless everywhere.
- Electricity in the observation car and at every seat (currently, it tends to be one or the other. Very inconsistent.)
- Business car? Meeting room?
- High-speed solid rail in the interstate system’s median?
When was the last time you brainstormed about your business? Or asked your customers to do so?