Mobile ‘totems’ don’t need fixed power supply at London stations

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New touch screens that provide passengers with live information about their journeys have been introduced to several major London stations managed by Network Rail’s Southern region.

Importantly, the screens are not constrained by a fixed power supply and can be moved to where they are needed.

Known as ‘totems’, the user-friendly displays are an additional tool to help passengers plan journeys when travelling from Waterloo, London Bridge, Victoria, Charing Cross and Clapham Junction, complementing the existing frontline station teams.

The totems made by L.B. Foster TEW Engineering provide real-time platform information, departure and destination times and details of any delay, as well as recommending alternative routes when there is travel disruption.

Nicole Cohen-Wray, stations director for Network Rail Southern region, said: “Our team are always there to help – technology will never replace people – but these totems give an extra layer to passengers looking for information.”

Jason Webb, customer information director at the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Network Rail’s totems are a great example of how rail companies are harnessing technology to deliver the accurate, timely and personalised information that we know passengers want.

“As part of our Safer Travel Pledge, we’re also sending better information about train services straight to people’s smartphones, helping those who need to travel to do so with confidence.”

Neil Sheffield, managing director of L.B. Foster TEW Engineering, said: “Since the start of this year we have seen unprecedented levels of interest in our product when clear communication is essential for keeping passengers safe.

“The totem is unconstrained by fixed power supply and can be moved wherever it’s needed. The software provided means we can instantaneously update passengers with the latest travel information.”

“We are working hard to roll out further functionality over the coming year, such as displaying the information in other languages including British Sign language.”

They also have London Underground maps, local bus information and maps of places of interest. The screens can also display important passenger information such as COVID-19 messaging, and like all key touch points in Network Rail managed stations, the totems are regularly cleaned with an anti-bacterial spray so they remain germ free.

Inform totems are designed and manufactured by L.B. Foster TEW Engineering and feature the company’s Inform Media software. The totems provide live platform information, departure and destination times and details of any delays. As well as recommending alternative routes when there is travel disruption.

L.B. Foster TEW Engineering is L.B. Foster’s operating division behind the new totem technology

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