DLR gets ‘chill-out’ carriages to reduce Covid back-to-work anxiety

·2-min read

“Chill-out” carriages have been created on Docklands Light Railway (DLR) trains to reduce Covid back-to-work anxiety among commuters.

Twelve DLR trains will have a carriage dedicated to “mindfulness”, with the on-board area redecorated with images of mountains, forests, oceans and countryside.

“Meditation corners” have been established on platforms at three main DLR stations - Canary Wharf, Tower Gateway and Woolwich Arsenal - for at least six months.

The “Inner Journey” initiative from DLR operator KeolisAmey Docklands comes ahead of World Mental Health Day on Sunday. These are claimed to be the world’s first mindfulness trains.

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

Each mindfulness carriage will be open to all passengers - the DLR three-carriage trains are frequently overcrowded - but a spokeswoman said they would be visually different from other parts of the train and those with headphones would be able to “meditate in peace.”

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

Dan Barrett, director of Thrive LDN, an organisation that aims 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.”

Alessia Affinita, of London charity Youmanity, which is also involved in the project, said: “We often forget to pause in our hectic daily routine. Time spent commuting can be time spent on our own inner journey, providing the perfect window to pause, reflect and be aware of ourselves and the space around us.”

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