A two-year collaborative project worth £10 million has resulted in upgraded passenger information systems for rail passengers in Kent.
The project, undertaken by Network Rail and the Southeastern train operator, has seen passenger information systems designed by a group of industry experts, painstakingly developed through trials with passenger groups.
What the upgrades show is that Network Rail is listening to its passengers, whilst also pressing ahead with digital improvements across Britain’s railways.
Overall, 397 new screens have been fitted at Southeastern stations, benefiting 113 different stations.
Elsewhere, 88 PA systems have been replaced, altering a total of 3,802 speakers.
Because Network Rail is renewing hardware on the systems, Southeastern has requested some more software upgrades in order to coincide with the work.
This has means a series of other upgrades have been added, including anticipated calling times for every station for every train journey – displayed on next train indicators.
The current location of the train is also displayed; at terminals, the location of the inward train is highlighted; and now, there is information regarding a train’s location if it hasn’t departed, giving passengers and business users visibility of the train all along the route.
David Statham, Managing Director of Southeastern, said: “We’re always wanting to do more for our passengers and these changes to the way we present information, particularly during periods of disruption, are very visible and well regarded by our passengers, giving them the assurance they need to plan their journeys, especially during periods of disruption.”
The upgrade of technology for passengers across Kent, East Sussex and South East London is no surprise given that it is part of the Kent Railway Upgrade Plan, which will see more than £1 billion invested to improve the railway, including track, infrastructure, signalling and safety.
This level of investment, and improvement of the digital technology will continue to be an important aim of Network Rail’s in the coming years.
These passenger information systems barely scratch the surface.