In my opinion, the place that is making the running with many of the most interesting innovations on the European transport scene at the moment is France. This is a subject to which I am likely to return in the not too distant future.
One story which attracted my attention today is the launch of a new design of First Class seats expected to feature in a new fleet of TGV trains planned to enter service between Paris and Bordeaux from 2017.
The full story is here. It's in French of course, but you can get the gist of it from the pictures.
Apart from being very stylish - the French have always valued stylish design - the seats offer a number of benefits. Designed to act as a mini-office, most interesting is the use of the space behind the fold-down tray for a sort of seat-back desk tidy and also the plug and USB sockets - according to the article it is a deliberate move to position these above the level of the desk so that laptops, tablets and phones can be plugged in without having to delve under a table or fumble around the bottom of the seat.
While it is of course not at all unusual to find nets or other storage compartments attached to the back of the seat to carry documents or devices, these are normally below the desk level, so that it is necessary to rummage around underneath the table to retrieve what you need. This design places everything within much easier reach and will allow for a much greater level of organisation and convenience.
The icing on the cake is that the seats revolve so that they can face either direction - although the article says this will need to be done by railway staff before the train leaves.
And if nothing else, they look nice!