Birmingham new street station proudly opened phase one of its major refurbishment on April 28th 2013, with over 140,000 daily commuters welcomed to a modern and fresh new station using Armagard’s protective flat panel enclosures for their interactive transport digital signage.
Birmingham New Street last saw development back in the 1960’s as it was becoming a popular commuter hub for the Midlands area. Now the UK’s biggest train station outside of London, New Street operates at almost double the capacity it was designed for, and suffers from heavy commuter traffic that has over time has eroded the stations appearance and the effectiveness of its transport digital signage.
Redevelopment and Network Rail
Long overdue for an update, the £600 million redevelopment project managed by Network Rail aims to transfer the station quarter into a 21st century commuter hub, with a grand concourse that’s three and a half times bigger than the current station and is capable of handling more than 250,000 commuters every day
However as part of the project, Network Rail needed to find an interactive display solution for displaying travel information; one that was simple to use whilst being protected against the thousands of daily operators that pass through the station.
Armagard, specialists in outdoor digital signage and local to the Birmingham Area, had the perfect solution for them with a custom portrait flat panel enclosure that included touch screen capabilities, and could provide information quite literally at the fingertips of those who needed it.
Armagard’s Transport Digital Signage
Armagard delivered 8 portrait units in total. Each enclosure was built to a ‘base specification’ and split across two 55” and six 32” enclosures. In addition, each enclosure included an anti-reflective window with a capacitive touchscreen foil and finished in a custom enclosure glossy white that matched the stations interior.
In keeping with the latest concept of the station, light, modern and futuristic, the enclosures were designed to fit the sleek new look of the premises, and would be situated in key areas around the building to maximize on commuter engagement and traffic flow. In addition, customers use the interactive touch screen enclosures to check train times, view a station or check live updates, all through a responsive and accurate interface.
The Steel People
Specialists in hardware protection with over two decades of experience, Armagard design and assemble protective steel enclosures for computers, printers and displays for hazardous areas such as industrial, wash-down and transport digital signage environments. In this example, the large volume of commuters passing through New Street meant that a quality and durable solution was needed for it to be durable and hardwearing for its many operators.
Built to Bespoke
When a standard unit isn’t suitable, Armagard offer a custom enclosure design service to develop a specialised solution for the customer. This flexibility from Armagard allowed Network Rail to specify the enclosure that would match the stations aesthetic and in the sizes they need.
Local and Global
Birmingham New Street lays only seven miles away from Armagard’s headquarters, so in this case, location was a positive factor that worked in our favour. However, Armagard remains a truly global company and has provided its transport digital signage solutions for many installations across the world (below), including a metro station in Sweden, a bus shelter in Poland and the Emirates cable car ‘Skyline’ in London.
2015 and Beyond…
Using Armagards’ protective touch screen enclosures for their information displays, Network Rail can now provide commuters with a secure transport digital signage solution for finding train times and platforms at the £600 million redevelopment of Birmingham New Street Station.
However, with phase 2 not planned to finish until 2015, Birmingham New Street is still only half done, but with Network Rail presenting information in this way it has taken the station to the next level of interaction with its customers, and has given the station a much needed step into the future.