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London’s DLR launches ‘chill-out’ carriages in trains to reduce commuter anxiety

An online mediation app and ‘meditation corners’ at selected stations will also form part of the package

Joanna Whitehead
Wednesday 06 October 2021 18:46 BST
DLR line’s ‘meditation corner’ aimed to reduce commuter stress

“Chill-out” carriages have been created on London’s Docklands Light Railway (DLR) trains in a bid to minimise back-to-work anxiety among commuters.

Twelve DLR trains will each have a carriage dedicated to “mindfulness”, with the onboard area covered in images of mountains, forests, oceans and countryside.

The carriages, which will be open to all passengers, are visibly distinct from other carriages, while a spokesperson for DLR told Evening Standard that travellers would be able to “meditate in peace”.

Passengers will be able to download a meditation app developed for use on DLR trains and in stations.

And Canary Wharf, Tower Gateway and Woolwich Arsenal DLR platforms will also feature a “meditation corner” for at least six months.

A “meditation corner” on London’s Docklands Light Railway platform (Anton Phatianov/Youmanity)

The initiative has been launched by DLR operator KeolisAmey Docklands (KAD) in conjunction with London mental health charity Youmanity ahead of World Mental Health Day on Sunday 10 October.

The company claims the carriages are the world’s first mindfulness trains.

William Layton, head of customer experience at KAD, said: “Our ‘Inner Journey’ trains and kiosks aim to encourage our passengers to take time to relax and enjoy their commute.”

And Dan Barret, director of Thrive LDN, an organisation working to improve the mental health of Londoners, said: “The Inner Journey initiative is a great way of reminding Londoners that even a small pause, some breathing space, can start the journey to feeling calmer and more resilient.

“It is also an innovative way for how we can help encourage each other to talk and act more when it comes to mental health and wellbeing. As we emerge from the coronavirus crisis, this has never been more important.”

The news comes as a London Underground chief warned that there had been a surge in personal injuries on TFL’s network over the spring and summer - thought to be due to passengers being nervous about holding on to handrails during the pandemic.

Speaking on a TFL panel about safety last month, London Underground managing director Andy Lord said: “The two biggest risks we have are falls on escalators caused by people who don’t hold the handrail. There is an issue with the perception that the handrail is not clean because of the pandemic.”

The other issue leading to accidents on the travel network was intoxicated passengers.

“We are spending a huge amount of time and money and resources cleaning the hand rail, as well as the UV cleaners that are being steadily rolled out across the entire network. We are looking at what further communications we can do to raise awareness of that,” said Lord.

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