Finding the right train has never been easier for Thameslink passengers at London St Pancras station after seven new passenger information screens have been installed to help speed passengers on their way.
Following suggestions from passengers, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) asked Network Rail to replace the four existing at the street-level entrance to Thameslink’s subterranean platforms so that more service information could be provided, more clearly, particularly during periods of disruption.
The result was no less than seven shiny news screens of the same type as those in use on the Thameslink platforms for train information, and as those used in the interactive Public Information Points in the wider station. However, the housing was designed in the style of customer information signs within the station overall.
The new screens will be especially welcome at the busiest times, when the old screens were not easily visible for people waiting or queuing further back on the concourse. The increased clarity will also help passengers maintain social distancing while checking their departure times.
GTR head of customer information Tracy Hall said: “Thameslink trains leaving St Pancras are together heading for as many as 124 destinations, and we needed six screens to show all of those at any one time if necessary. The screen display is also designed to show only the destinations that trains will reach within the following 90 minutes, so the information is always relevant for our passengers.
“The seventh screen is for the display of special notices and disruption information. This reduces the need for free-standing signs, so the gate-line can be kept clear of unnecessary clutter, another improvement for our passengers’ experience.”
As the station is Grade I listed, the screens had to be approved by Historic England and Camden Borough Council. They agreed that the replacement of the old screens and consolidation of train information and wayfinding into a central bank of screens above the gates to the platforms was “a positive step and a visual improvement.”
The stainless-steel housing both contains the physical screens and keeps the cables and support bars out of view. This is an important arrival point for the building as customers come up from the sub-surface station into the end of the historic Barlow Shed – the main arch-roofed structure of the station that was designed by prominent 19th century civil engineer William Henry Barlow, chief engineer of the Midland Railway – and so is part of the listed building complex where the continuity of design, materials and appearance is very important.