Some new passenger information screens are being installed at London Euston station over the coming weeks to test how passengers react to them.

Architect’s impression of how the new screens will look on Euston’s concourse (c) Network Rail

Instead of just the huge departure boards that are above the entrances to platforms, two double-sided banks of full-colour displays are being built on posts in the middle of the concourse, at right angles to the main screens.

Rather than everyone facing front and staring upwards, there’ll be the two test display screens as well. The theory – that they are going to test is whether shifting passengers’ focus from the front to the centre of the concourse will improve people flow in the station. In theory, it should, but they need to test to be sure. When both of the screens have been installed later this month, the old LED boards will be turned off to get a true reflection of how passenger flow will work in the station with the new screen positioning.

Motion tracking sensors will monitor passenger movements in real-time and the data collected will be studied to see how repositioning the boards affects the routes people take between the concourse and trains.

New screen as seen from Euston balcony (c) Network Rail

James Dean, Network Rail’s West Coast South route director, said: “This will be a big change for passengers which is why we’re trialling the boards first and then listen to feedback from station users. The high-definition displays have been really successful in other stations, so it’ll be great to get them in position and see how they work for the thousands of passengers who use Euston every day.”

The new screens are also clearer to read and information can be quickly changed in times of disruption. They also work on a traffic light system to give more information about when trains are ready to board, are delayed or are cancelled.

They will eventually replace the outdated departure and arrivals boards which are over two decades old.

Similar screens have already been installed in stations including Manchester Piccadilly and London Victoria stations where passengers have praised how easy they are to read and follow.

Additional banks of the same electronic passenger information screens are also due to be put up outside of the station on the piazza in early 2023.

New screen from Euston concourse looking east (c) Network Rail

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35 comments
  1. Ian Chapman-Curry says:

    Do you happen to know what will go where the current departure boards are if the test goes well?Will that space also have hi-def screens installed?

  2. DH says:

    Will they stop announcing the platform of your train 2 minutes before it departs?

    • ianVisits says:

      Why would they stop telling you what platform to catch the trains from?

    • Mike says:

      @ianvisits He means calling the platform just before the train is due to leave creates a panicked rush to the platform. It also means that instead of people being spread over the station including platforms, passengers are forced to stand in front of the display blocking ingress and egress whilst creating one of the best terrorism targets in the UK.

    • TRT says:

      Aka The Euston Stampede. That scene of the buffalo in The Lion King? The rotoscoping was done at Euston Station*

      *not really – it just looks like it.

  3. 100andthirty says:

    I am sure that the large display had its LED panels replaced more recently than 20 years ago. Also, I hope they genuinely provide more information, especially in times of disruption. It’s no good just displaying “delayed” with no other information, whether visual or from the public address. This is a routine gripe at Euston.

  4. David says:

    I miss the old split-flap displays and the hypnotic way they updated and shifted trains to the left as one departed. The sound was also a useful nudge to look at them when they updated. Can’t believe they have been gone for more than 20 years!

    • JP says:

      You’re so right about the hypnotic “clacks” of the Solari boards. And yes, when you heard the cascading waterfall of the flaps crashing ashore like a wave from right to left, you were helpfully prompted to look up in case your train’s platform had now been announced.

    • Marj says:

      I miss them as well. Clackety clackety clack! They were easier to read than the current DM displays, too

  5. SteveP says:

    I imagine this will help reduce the congestion at the boarding areas and spread the crowds better through the concourse.

    And I suspect the “2-minute before boarding” comment above relates to some train companies playing loose with “punctuality” penalty timings.

    I have seen trains announced as “boarding” when they have not even arrived on the platform. The turnaround time can then be very short – I assume this is so the train operator is not penalised for running late.

    So a train not even arrived is announced as boarding so it can leave “on time” with a very short stay on the platform. This obviously disadvantages the elderly, those with prams or small children or bulky luggage, the less abled, etc – especially when some platforms (at Paddington at least) are quite a hike

  6. Jen F says:

    They’d improve things by letting people down onto the platforms earlier (like in most other stations) rather than everyone doing the ‘euston dash’ and the mad panic to get to the train. It’s so dangerous.

    • David Goodman says:

      Best to use the train app.. last time I was at Euston, I was travelling to Lancaster and the app told me what platform the train was departing from a good 2-3 minutes before the boards did so we were right at the front of the gate when it opened.

  7. Tom says:

    Isn’t Euston being demolished soon? This seems like such a waste of money!

  8. Chris Rogers says:

    Better clarity is obviously good but not quite clear how flow will be improved. And it’s yet another intrusion into the original architecture years after Network Rail said they’d strip stuff out

  9. Chris S says:

    I rarely use Euston because of the ‘Euston dash’ mentioned above. Frequently just a few minutes between the announcement of the platform and departure of the train. Fortunately I have the choice of a different line which does not suffer from this

  10. D says:

    But will sites like Realtimetrains continue to beat the offering at the station by giving platform information well in advance of the boards?

    There needs to be more thought into the passengers as humans who don’t behave according to the plan.

    • SteverP says:

      It does seem odd that (fill in whatever Network Rail is called this month) can’t even make good use of their own info. I used to travel regularly on the Thames Valley Bedwyn service. This is a sort of “canary in the coal mine” line for GWR – the moment a butterfly’s wing touches a rail they cancel the service

      Which is bad enough – but you’d be standing on a platform looking at the boards and it would say 13:55 outbound cancelled” – but the return service at (say) 14:20 would still be showing as “On time” even though it is the *same train* on the way back. Pretty sure if it doesn’t go out, it can’t come back

      I really don’t see that as acceptable service. Nor do I understand the “preparing” hold on announcing platforms. How does that help? They know what platform the train is on, so tell us. With turnstiles at almost every platform, what does it matter except those who need a bit more time might need to hurry a bit less?

    • ianVisits says:

      It’s been called Network Rail since October 2002 — it just marked its 20th anniversary of using the same name. Hardly “this month”.

    • SteveP says:

      “In May 2021, the Government announced its intent to replace Network Rail in 2023 with a new public body called Great British Railways”

      Of course, no doubt there have been several U-turns – impressive for a railway 🙂

  11. Sally Jefferys says:

    The main thing is it would be far helpful and SAFER if we were told what platform we would need in good time, instead of waiting for the last possible moment

  12. Chris Wood says:

    Not sure why they need to test the alignment of these screens, at right angles to the barrier line. Paddington has had its departure screens configured like this for as long as I can remember. As here, with two banks of double-sided screens.

    Obviously Paddington is older technology and I can see they might need to test the technology. But the alignment should be pretty well understood already.

  13. anon says:

    It looks like the new screens are lower and the text smaller (why do so many new screens have to be smaller and harder to read?), so it will probably increase crowding, unless these screens are SUPPLEMENTARY to the big ones over the platforms (which you can see from almost anywhere, whether standing or seated). Also, it means that someone entering the station from the front entrance will have to turn around, rather than being able to walk straight from the entrance to the correct platform without breaking stride (and being able to see your platform even before actually getting inside).

    • Chris Rogers says:

      “why do so many new screens have to be smaller and harder to read?” TfL are rolling out new platform describers that are exactly the same size as the older ones BUT with 3 lines of train text r/t 2. Of course that means each is smaller. D’oh.

  14. Steve says:

    I think that they’re a replacement. The main screens failed earlier this week which underlines the fact that they need replacing. Actually, I was thinking that they were temporary but there’s no such thing as temporary in this world…

  15. Paul says:

    At the moment you can sit and watch the main boards. Are new seats going to be put in facing these screens? I doubt it if this is all about some genius scheme to improve flow. Sounds like a right old waste of money. And on points above someone please tell london northwestern to not flag trains as “boarding” when all their doors are locked and the driver is still in the canteen, leaving us all to stand on the platform like semi trained labrats. I understand euston was designed to be like an air terminal internally. Folks in charge of it seem to want to reduce us us train travellers to the miserable state of waiting shuffling air passengers.

    • ianVisits says:

      “I doubt it if this is all about some genius scheme to improve flow.” <-- If you've seen information about this project that I haven't, please feel free to share it.

  16. TRT says:

    It looks like they’re STILL putting the current time miles away from where the information is needed – right next to the trains departing next. I dislike the amount of colour coding being done – if you can use colour to encode information then you get lazy about drilling down to the essentials, and it also discriminates against those with colour vision defects.
    Victoria station’s colour board is horrendously complicated. The one at Liverpool Street is even worse, split as it is by north and south side mainline routing rather than being arranged purely by time.

  17. John Nesbitt says:

    The screens are ugly, garish and spoil the airy, late-modernist lines of the passenger hall. All they do is get people facing sidewards rather than forward, congesting the centre and disrupting the station’s intended flow from Euston Rd via grass-fringed approaches and precincts to platforms. As stated in previous posts, the issue at Euston is the “rush”, which seems less pronounced at other termini, presumably because platforms are accessible further in advance of train departures.

  18. Lueus says:

    All these screens have done is move standing people into the flow of peple who enter through the doors either side of the station and follow the outside of the concourse down to the platforms. The old screen locations meant people congregated in the middle of the concourse and people moved around the outside. At rush hour it is now much harder to move through the station. I think it’s likely they have a new set of smaller, standardised screens and rather than replacing the giant ones, which would have required much more money due to the large size of the LCD needed, decided to plonk these tiny new ones lower and closer to the crowd. Any excuses about “people flow” doesnt seem to account for the fact the room is too small for the numbers of commuters in the first place, and guess what’s taking up even more of this space now?? These new screens! Spitting the screens means you have people wondering about thinking they might have missed detail (again not a problem before with the single display area). I think it’s a total mess at the moment.

  19. Rich says:

    Colour codes on carriage displays on new departure boards

    Guessing.

    Red = full.
    Green = Reservation level in 2nd class carriages?
    Amber/yellow = Reservation level in 1st class carriages?
    Blank = Unreserved.

    Sorry to ask if it seems obvious.
    Rich.

  20. TRT says:

    I think the V at the end goes red if there’s disruption. Can’t say for sure but it was red today when there was a tree on the line.

  21. Tony Taylor says:

    Been to Euston for first time in ages and have a problem reading the display boards. I wear varifocal specs and the white characters split to various colours all displaced vertically but overlapping making the text unreadable so had to resort to smaller screens in seating areas and platform displays for info. Makes things very difficult for us older/ visually challenged customers.

    • ianVisits says:

      As a fellow older visually challenged person wearing varifocals – not really had a problem with them.

      While I understand you had an issue, it’s not because they are making it difficult for older people.

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