WIN a Free family and friends railcard – Just be creative

*This comp is now closed. brilliant entries. the winners are gill richmon and terri blaymires*

What do you think a Kids funzone carriage on a train would look like?

 National Rail have drawn up a concept carriage of the future where children are encouraged to have as much fun as they want on those sometimes long train journeys. They would love your thoughts and suggestions on what would make it the ideal place for your children to be when travelling by train.

In the example below designed by Child psychologist Emma Kenny, the concept  ‘Fun Zone’ would be split into three main areas – for kids, teens and parents. Emma Kenny explains: “In my opinion, The kids’ area of the Loud Zone should all about fun with dance mats, musical instruments and digital cameras.  Sounds great fun for the little ones.

  I think my kids would want a dvd bean bag lounge area? What do you think, a nail lounge for mum, cooking area for tots??

 I’ll leave this open for a week (so closes 18 November 2010) and the top 2 suggestions will get a fab family and freinds railcard (worth £26) as a prize. The railcard allows up to 4 adults to get 1/3 off their fares and up to 4 kids to get 60% off their fares for a whole year . Travel is with a child 5-15 and they don’t need to be related to you. Brilliant savings.

 Please leave your best idea in the comments box below:



  1. Hannah Beadle
    November 11, 2010 / 7:29 pm

    I think it would be kitted out into 6 different areas. 1 – A soft play section for the under 5’s with a surround of textured walling and a colour changing bubble light. 2 – An Arts and Crafts section for under 5’s with finger painting and playdoh etc 3 – Another Arts and Craft section for school age children with painting cutting and sticking 4 – TV area with nintendo wii and xbox games 5 – Internet cafe area (with parental control)
    6 – Refreshment zone with healthy snack and drinks

  2. claire woods
    November 11, 2010 / 8:01 pm

    I think it should have some fun stuff like dance mats but should also have a quiet bit for lounging around and watching DVD’s or playing video games.

  3. nicola hawley
    November 12, 2010 / 7:39 am

    I think lots of wall pictures with games on like ‘I spy’ dotted around the carriage, colouring sheets and pencil crayons, a seating area with tables. desks with duplo or other bricks.

  4. Sarah Jones
    November 12, 2010 / 9:34 am

    All my children are avid readers (juniors and teens) so I would like to see an area stocked with beanbags, soft squashy cushions and a huge variety of comics, children’s newspapers, children’s novels and quality picture books and perhaps audio books with headphones available.

  5. wendy @kikicomp
    November 12, 2010 / 11:15 am

    I’d go for the following areas – A chill out area for parents, a messy play area, a quiet reading area, a dance studio, building area – ie lego etc and of course a train track:)

  6. November 12, 2010 / 12:53 pm

    A safe, colourful, enclosed soft play area and ball pond would entertain the toddlers. Children could join in age related activity sessions on arts and craft tables. Teens could enjoy a relaxation area with comfy seating (where they could relax with their Mp3’s and mobile phones or a good book!) Mums and dads would be able to sit back knowing their children are happy and well-occupied. A selection of current magazines and a plasma TV showing informative TV on places to go/local information tailored to the train’s destination, would help pass the time! A kiosk selling healthy snacks and juice would keep everyone catered for on their journey!

  7. Susan Saul
    November 14, 2010 / 4:35 pm

    The carriage should have a selection of hand/eye coordination toys for toddlers and young children, bean bags or large cushions for sitting on and a wall mounted screen showing a selection of age appropriate tv programmes. There should be another section with touch control games for slightly older children together with another screen showing programmes or films for their age range. There should also be something for supervising parents/carers – perhaps a small seating area.

  8. November 14, 2010 / 8:54 pm

    How about a “toddler tumble” area of softplay, ball pits etc for the really small ones! That should keep them amused and wear them out a little ;o)

  9. Andrew Cakebread
    November 16, 2010 / 7:19 am

    Soft play room with ball balls and lots of funnels to wonder around possibly train themed

  10. emma weaver
    November 16, 2010 / 10:35 am

    A play area with a tv showing childrens programmes. Brightly coloured and clean carriage with baby changing toilets. Also a cafe serving healthy and reasonable priced items

  11. Julie
    November 16, 2010 / 10:37 am

    Kidzone = pretending to drive the train,with controlls & screen.

    Teenzone = dark area ,sleeping zone

    Adultzone = Selection of fiction books with a train theme

  12. sian stokes
    November 16, 2010 / 10:39 am

    a lounge area for parents with full view to the childrens fun zone. where smaller children can use craft tables, draw, paint and use interactive toys. A miniature train play frame for children to pretend they are working on the train. Beanbag area for older children with big screen TV and a computer games area.

  13. Emma G
    November 16, 2010 / 1:22 pm

    I would like to see an art area, as this would suit all ages. A smoothie/juice bar with healthy snacks, a tech area with ipads, mp3 docks etc. Some massage chairs for frassled mums, with some easy read magazines, so we can relax.

    November 16, 2010 / 10:00 pm


  15. Rhydian Prismick
    November 16, 2010 / 10:32 pm

    My Funzone would have 4 areas.
    Area 1 for smaller kids would have a ball pool and soft toys.
    Area 2 would be an art and craft area where kids can paint, draw and make things.
    Area 3 would be full of Games consoles and computers for the older kids to enjoy.
    Area 4 would be the relaxation area for the parents. A spa chair with a TV monitor so you can keep an eye on the kids and massages as and when required.

  16. Susannah Leggatt
    November 17, 2010 / 10:08 am

    I remember in Aviemore in Scotland there used to be a Santa World, with rides and a huge Ice Pole that we would all lick and of course the real Santa (or so I thought). Would be great to have a Santa World on a train too, very magical.

  17. elizabeth
    November 17, 2010 / 12:06 pm

    How about something to send the little darlings to sleep?! I have a fabulous toy that mimics noises from the womb and also the heartbeat which is a great comfort to little ones. An area which pipes out such sounds, coupled with ‘bed’ like seats, and mobiles from the ceiling. This would be hugely relaxing for the adults as well ( well, that and a gin and tonic, maybe!)

  18. Kate Blakemore
    November 17, 2010 / 1:02 pm

    For my kids it would be wall to wall Thomas and Friends- a large screen tv playing ‘Thomas’ DVDs, a huge trainset round the outside of the carriage, maps and posters of the island of Sodor around the walls, a library full of Thomas books and a multitude of Thomas lego! The guard can even dress as the Fat Controller to get the full effect!!

  19. Joanne Glenn
    November 17, 2010 / 1:33 pm

    I think a carriage laid out with rows of seats and on the walls around all sides are screens that play beautiful scenery so that it looks like you are travelling through magic woods with lovable characters, or flying in a christmas night sky over houses, or under the sea with tropical fish or in a winter wonderland on a sleigh ride. This would relax and entertain both adults and children on long journeys!

  20. Liz Burton
    November 17, 2010 / 3:45 pm

    Some things for young kids/toddlers would be great.

    Huge windows so they can have a good view outside, lots to see and talk about. Comfy beanbags and story area with lots of books.

    For older kids and arts and crafts area where they can be creative and while away their time making something.

    And for older kids I guess it would be a Wii area!

    Me? I’d be at the bar :0)

  21. Nancy Bradford
    November 17, 2010 / 6:40 pm

    I think a soft block and ball pit would be great.

  22. Nicola Whitehead
    November 17, 2010 / 7:01 pm

    Rhyme Time – A qualified person employed to sit down and sing nersury rhymes and music with parents/Childs on soft mats. decorated with loads of colours and soft safe decor. child protected internet cafe stye options for the older type of kids.

  23. Hayley Spencer
    November 17, 2010 / 11:41 pm

    If open plan then there needs to be a secure area for younger children to go to avoid running off and getting hurt by volume of people getting on and off. This area needs to be clear screened so is visable to parents at all times. Could include soft play toys (plastic preferable as easily disinfected, rather than teddies or plush toys that could be leaked upon and not easily cleaned). Board books are good as are wipeable, and educational, keeping attention for a few minutes! Stacking rings/building bricks/light play balls are suitable here, although the balls would need another secure area to avoid health & safety issues.
    Toddlers/pre-schoolers enjoy drawing yet pencils would easily be lost/taken so an idea could be the aquadraw-type mats inbuilt into tables with pens attached that just need a little water-mess-free! Imaginitive play is an important part of learning so things like play kitchens/work stations/dressing up/play shops are educational and fun, although the issue of items being attached/not able to be taken away arises here.
    Some seats could have inbuilt screens playing favourites such as CBeebies-also educational.

    Older children may enjoy film area’s whereby they have the space to lounge (half lie/slouch!) whilst watching, or quiet space in which to read/write/do homework etc.
    Built-in computers with WiFi access would be a huge hit with teens-allowing access for homework help/researching, aswell as chill-out time with access to social networking sites/YouTube viewing etc.
    A vending machine may also be appreciated by teens on long journeys, with cold drinks/snacks available. This could also give the option of fresh fruit packs/yoghuts for toddler snacks also.

    For parents It’s important to have a kitchen area whereby a microwave/heating area is available to warm bottles/food, a basin so enable washing/cleaning whilst still having the children in view, changing areas are a necessity but this probably is encompassed outside of the main carriage.

    As a seperate entity to the carriage I feel there should be adequate additional storage for larger family-used items such as buggy’s/travel-systems, car seats for which there is space for by parents’ seats so as not to disturb sleeping babies, and the general extra baggage that comes with travelling with children!

  24. J Christou
    November 18, 2010 / 9:30 am

    As a mother of two who often does a 3hour journey with 2 toddlers, it can get a bit boring for them, especially when we can’t get a table seat. We have a bag of toys that we keep especially for the train journey. But it would be so much better if National Rail did come up with something aimed at kids. If the end carrige was aimed at young children in mind that would be brilliant. A soft play area would be perfect, as toddlers have a very short attention span!! And it would keep the young children away from all the business men/ women who just want to relax and not want to play Boo with a 2year old! Ha Ha!

    Please get something like this on to everytrain, it would be money well spent!!!!

  25. terri blaymires
    November 18, 2010 / 10:18 am

    I think it should be seasonal, so christmas it should be like a grotto with christmas songs kareoke and soft white balls like snow for the little ones. Summer should have a sandpit, lounngers and books and ice lollys, easter should have treasure hunts, a craft area to make easter bonnets etc. This way those families that use the train all year round wont need to worry about their children get bored.

  26. Ann calland
    November 18, 2010 / 11:43 am

    KIds-Soft Blocks to sit on and an exploration area,board games area.

    Teens-Console area,playstation etc,cd players with private headphones

    Parents-Chill area with comfy seats,newspapers,books,individual tv screens with headphones to listen to the news etc

  27. Joan Apperley
    November 18, 2010 / 12:23 pm

    Some magazines for Mums, but an area of crafts for the kiddies, as well as a screen in the area for them to watch DVDs/ children’s fun programmes like magic.

  28. Sally Willcock
    November 18, 2010 / 2:35 pm

    Definitely colouring books and pens/pencils, DVD’s and TV, laptop, Hot wheels track and some cars, high level train track, bean bags (to sit on), see saw, tables & chairs and a few board games and jig saws. Jelly bean dispensing machine (like the old bubble gum machines), drinks bar and must serve the equivalent of costa coffees ‘babycino’ – super frothy warm milk. A few of those reclining massage chairs in there for the adults and then watch the country side pass by outside.

  29. Elaine Charles
    November 18, 2010 / 3:45 pm

    It should be colourful with primary colours playstation console etc for the older children. Soft play for children under 5, A colouring station and refreshments .

  30. Jayne Clarke
    November 18, 2010 / 3:58 pm

    Clean small toilets, colourful carriage, kids cafe, small picnic tables, dance zone, book zone, soft balls pit. These ideas came from Georgia age 8

  31. Nida
    June 26, 2015 / 5:48 pm

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