London Rail Company Testing Boring But Useful Passenger Info Screens

November 22, 2022 by Dave Haynes

Last week at Digital Signage Experience in Las Vegas, I had a number of conversations about what’s happening in the industry and use-cases that I found interesting. What I tended to say I was attracted to thing applications a lot of people would regard as boring.

Giant LED displays, super-skinny OLEDs and interactive jobs are all great and noteworthy, but sometimes the stuff that matters and makes a difference are screens and underlying software that just make things easier – like what a rail service in the UK is actively testing.

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) is running a trial with digital display screens installed on two platforms at Doncaster Railway Station, using the screens to “advise customers of the train layouts and where they should wait on the platform to board the correct coach.”

The technology will be trialled on two platforms for three months with the additional information helping better inform customers of where available seats can be found, where to wait for their booked seat as well as listing calling points and arrival times. It’s hoped the signs will make boarding simpler and smoother while further enhancing punctuality. They will also highlight the locations of the onboard Café Bar, bicycle spaces and priority seats. If the trial proves successful, the screens could be rolled out across LNER’s eleven managed stations.

“We believe digital innovation and our work to continually improve our customer experience are key parts of LNER’s success in leading the industry when it comes to welcoming people back to rail,” says Danny Gonzalez, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer at LNER. “The new information screens being trialled at Doncaster are just the latest way we are working to make travel simpler and smarter.”

The images from the LNER website show one trial involves e-paper displays, while the other is under a canopy and is, I assume, a more conventional outdoor-rated LCD, as it is color. In both cases, the screens don’t sell ads, and don’t promote rider specials. They just help people on the platform figure out where to stand, how and where to board, and the basics like the platform designation, destination and timing.

Boring, sure. Useful, yup.

  1. Paul Fleuranges says:

    There is something to be said for having screens that are dedicated to customer information as a full share of voice. But that is expensive, which is why many properties opt for the ad supported model. Its the model we proved with the On The Go Travel Station proof of concept program years ago in the NYC subways. Having someone else shoulder the CapEx costs for the screens and software while providing a dynamic communications platform is an attractive proposition for providers who are otherwise fiscally constrained.

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