St Pancras International - Poor Signage

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farci

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The refurbished STP is a joy to behold but I was not impressed on my first visit as a departing passenger with the platform directions. As a passenger I need one single departure board at the entrance showing time, destination and platform number for all services from that station.

Instead, entering from Euston Rd I found a number of choices - international or domestic, but then by train company. Apart from those in the know, why should Mr J Public first have to choose from East Midlands, Thameslink, South Eastern before being confronted by a series of boards for each TOC with only their own services?
 
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AM9

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Therer are no gates near the Euston Road end so all passengers must walk towards the northern end of the platforms. There is a combined departures/arrivals board in the centre of the station. This is where all departing passengers need to pass through or very near to, (except for Eurostar which even the most unfamiliar traveller should not get confused with Thameslink et al). All passengers arriving from Kings Cross and the deep 'tube' lines would pass these boards getting to all the platforms.
 

edwin_m

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Therer are no gates near the Euston Road end so all passengers must walk towards the northern end of the platforms. There is a combined departures/arrivals board in the centre of the station. This is where all departing passengers need to pass through or very near to, (except for Eurostar which even the most unfamiliar traveller should not get confused with Thameslink et al). All passengers arriving from Kings Cross and the deep 'tube' lines would pass these boards getting to all the platforms.
However even the big screen at the centre of the station (opposite Starbucks) is split into different sections for the four companies, and probably only Thameslink passengers have to pass close to this board to access their trains.

I think the departures on the flat screen monitors scattered around the station are in time order, but these aren't very visible and I'm nor sure if they show departures continuously or cycle through other displays.
 

Mike395

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I think the departures on the flat screen monitors scattered around the station are in time order, but these aren't very visible and I'm nor sure if they show departures continuously or cycle through other displays.
They only display departures - and in time order - but cycle between two pages so you do sometimes have to wait to see the train you want. They also have a tendency on occasion to show trains from the completely incorrect time of day!
 

EM2

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As a passenger I need one single departure board at the entrance showing time, destination and platform number for all services from that station.
I don't know any station that offers this? Every station I know will show the next dozen or so departures maximum.
Instead, entering from Euston Rd I found a number of choices - international or domestic, but then by train company. Apart from those in the know, why should Mr J Public first have to choose from East Midlands, Thameslink, South Eastern before being confronted by a series of boards for each TOC with only their own services?
When you say 'from Euston Road', did you come in via the Underground entrance at the South end?

You would have seen one of these Passenger Information Points by the entrance, and this would have shown departures for at least the next hour. Unless...
They also have a tendency on occasion to show trains from the completely incorrect time of day!
...this has happened!
They do have an unfortunate tendency to freeze, but they are being upgraded and improved soon.
 

Mike395

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Good to hear they're being upgraded - I commute through the station and it's probably my single biggest bugbear (well, that and 'The Key' Smartcards STILL not working the EMT barriers almost 6 months after their introduction...) - I tend to just wait to see what the EMT departure boards state when I get upstairs.
 

AM9

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Good to hear they're being upgraded - I commute through the station and it's probably my single biggest bugbear (well, that and 'The Key' Smartcards STILL not working the EMT barriers almost 6 months after their introduction...) - I tend to just wait to see what the EMT departure boards state when I get upstairs.
But the OP said, after entering from the Euston Road end:
"As a passenger I need one single departure board at the entrance showing time, destination and platform number for all services from that station."

I would imagine that the passenger ingress form the Euston Road end through the 'Arcade', even including the transfers via the subsurface Met/Circle platforms, would be far less than that from Kings Cross National Rail, the deep tubes, the main taxi rank and bus stops in Pancras Road, and Euston Road east/Pentonville Road/Grays In Road et al. For persons entering from all of those directions, they are likely to enter the central circulation area (labelled on the National Rail webpage as the 'Market') either from the Pancras Road doors or rise from the Kings Cross subway.
Surely, even a passenger taking the stairs/escalators up to the SE platforms passing the 'Kent Express' signs, couldn't really do that without looking to their left and seeing the wall of destinations in the Market area, - especially if they weren't familiar with the station's layout. That is unless of course they knew that they wanted to go to Kent, (and that is the only way that they could get there from STP). So that leaves the other passengers (TL, EMT and ES) who would all see the departures board(s) on their left, before they could even get to a booking office, let alone any gates.
 

Phil.

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Signage, signage.
The word is SIGNING. A multiplicity of signs is signing or signs. Leave signage in the computer world of the U.S. from where it originated.
 

edwin_m

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Signage, signage.
The word is SIGNING. A multiplicity of signs is signing or signs. Leave signage in the computer world of the U.S. from where it originated.
Think you may be too late on that one. "Signage" is pretty much universal in the UK engineering projects I've been involved in.
 

rebmcr

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Signage, signage.
The word is SIGNING. A multiplicity of signs is signing or signs. Leave signage in the computer world of the U.S. from where it originated.
Where on earth did you get a phrase like "the computer world of the U.S."!? The UK has computers as well you know, in fact we pioneered a lot of them — including the ARM chip that makes every smartphone on the planet work.

Just because modern things were associated with America in the 1980s doesn't make it the case three decades later in 2016!
 

HowardGWR

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Where on earth did you get a phrase like "the computer world of the U.S."!? The UK has computers as well you know, in fact we pioneered a lot of them — including the ARM chip that makes every smartphone on the planet work.

Just because modern things were associated with America in the 1980s doesn't make it the case three decades later in 2016!
I imagine he gets the phrase 'the computer world of the US' from the computer world of the US; thus not the computer world of the UK.
 

zn1

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i took a visit to SPIN last year for the 1st time in over 15 years - was surprised how clean and fresh it was...i had no problem with the signage..it didnt seem right without a HST on the Blocks but a 373 looks as impressive....and it was so quiet...thats what done me with the place...was a relief to get back on to euston road ...
 

route:oxford

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Signage, signage.
The word is SIGNING. A multiplicity of signs is signing or signs. Leave signage in the computer world of the U.S. from where it originated.
Language develops. It would be dreadful if we ended up like the French.

Signing tends to be used to indicate services for deaf people.
 

D1009

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There was a long article in the February Modern Railways referring to an address given by Wendy Spinks, HS1 Ltd Commercial Director, to the Railway Study Association. Mostly it was about how wonderful the place is, but did refer to some of its shortcomings, including the signage. Her excuse was that there are restrictions on signage in a Grade 1 listed building. She also mentioned the taxi rank getting very busy, and people getting fed up with waiting and booking Uber taxis for which there is no provision. The article has some critical comment in the "letters page" in the current issue.
 
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I always view St Pancras as 4 separate stations connected by a concourse.

And signage is the correct term. Signing refers to writing one's signature or as somebody already pointed out, the act of sign language
 

AM9

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I always view St Pancras as 4 separate stations connected by a concourse.

I agree and as I said above, there are four completely separate services except that the East Midlands and Thameslink TOCs both serve Luton and Bedford stations. Otherwise the services do not duplicate.
 

jon0844

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I agree and as I said above, there are four completely separate services except that the East Midlands and Thameslink TOCs both serve Luton and Bedford stations. Otherwise the services do not duplicate.
I hate thr screen type given the way it messes up stopping patterns (with so many ...'s) and the way messages are split by the huge bezels around each panel.

Theh do seem to work some places, like in Germany, but also convey the information differently.

I don't even think there's a 'next fastest train to...' sign. The fact I'm not even sure just goes to show how mad it is!

Suffice to say I use an app and rarely look at the boards.

I read they're changing and hope so before the TL services start running all over the place.
 

AM9

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I hate thr screen type given the way it messes up stopping patterns (with so many ...'s) and the way messages are split by the huge bezels around each panel.

Theh do seem to work some places, like in Germany, but also convey the information differently.

I don't even think there's a 'next fastest train to...' sign. The fact I'm not even sure just goes to show how mad it is!

Suffice to say I use an app and rarely look at the boards.

I read they're changing and hope so before the TL services start running all over the place.
I wonder if we will see much better larger screens at stations sometime soon. With the large scale production of higher definition screens for '4K' TVs, it will soon be cost effective to replace the current full HD screens used for departures with larger UHD ones that can have longer legible lines of text.
An 84 inch screen in portrait format at 3840x2160 resolution could easily hold full details of the most convoluted service.
 

Howardh

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I went from St P to Stratford International and found the place a really confusing mess; genuinely couldn't find the correct platform for a good 10-15 minutes (it's upstairs, but not accessible if you go the wrong way).
Funny how it's easier to find your way to a "shopping experience" than a train.
Feel sorry for foreign tourists.
 

farci

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Quote:


Originally Posted by farci View Post

As a passenger I need one single departure board at the entrance showing time, destination and platform number for all services from that station.

I don't know any station that offers this? Every station I know will show the next dozen or so departures maximum.
I am referring to the division of departures by TOC which is of no interest to the average passenger. Edwin M made the point about the display opposite Starbucks.

Glasgow Central and Euston (IIRC) show the next departures in time order and destination with a reference to the operator as supplementary information. That's all a passenger needs
 

AM9

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I went from St P to Stratford International and found the place a really confusing mess; genuinely couldn't find the correct platform for a good 10-15 minutes (it's upstairs, but not accessible if you go the wrong way).
Funny how it's easier to find your way to a "shopping experience" than a train.
Feel sorry for foreign tourists.
Now there is a station where I sympathise with first-timers. I've known it since it had just six regular platforms and another four that were hardly ever used, but it took on a new life when the improvements for 2012 were completed.

Compared with Stratford, STP is simple and well laid out especially as the services are so different in destination location and access.
 

EM2

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I am referring to the division of departures by TOC which is of no interest to the average passenger. Edwin M made the point about the display opposite Starbucks.

Glasgow Central and Euston (IIRC) show the next departures in time order and destination with a reference to the operator as supplementary information. That's all a passenger needs
If you do this, then as some operator's services are more frequent than others, your destination may not appear at all when you view the board.
For example, Loughborough services depart at xx:26 and xx:29. If you look at a board laid as you prefer at xx:30, you will see twenty-seven trains (not including Eurostar) on the board before you see a Loughborough service.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Now there is a station where I sympathise with first-timers. I've known it since it had just six regular platforms and another four that were hardly ever used, but it took on a new life when the improvements for 2012 were completed.

Compared with Stratford, STP is simple and well laid out especially as the services are so different in destination location and access.
Stratford International is not Stratford :D
International only has four platforms and only two are in use.
 

PR1Berske

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Signage, signage.
The word is SIGNING. A multiplicity of signs is signing or signs. Leave signage in the computer world of the U.S. from where it originated.

A very large building project here in Preston has boards around it showing mock-ups of the area as it will eventually look. The computer generated shop fronts are labelled "SIGNAGE"

Many linguistic battles are still in full flow (hello train vs railway station). I think your fight to keep signing over signage is long since lost.
 

jon0844

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I went from St P to Stratford International and found the place a really confusing mess; genuinely couldn't find the correct platform for a good 10-15 minutes (it's upstairs, but not accessible if you go the wrong way).
Funny how it's easier to find your way to a "shopping experience" than a train.
Feel sorry for foreign tourists.
Even the northern toilets are pretty hard to find and not sign posted very well. I think it's also quite hard for some to identify where some of the doors are.

And I know at least one sign that points the wrong way to a lift.

I said some of this way back at the testing day for Eurostar around 2007! Signage has improved since then, but it's still not perfect.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I wonder if we will see much better larger screens at stations sometime soon. With the large scale production of higher definition screens for '4K' TVs, it will soon be cost effective to replace the current full HD screens used for departures with larger UHD ones that can have longer legible lines of text.
An 84 inch screen in portrait format at 3840x2160 resolution could easily hold full details of the most convoluted service.
Wasn't it Waterloo that tried plasma panels, with horrible burn in? They eventually switched back to amber LEDs. Now they'd use LCD or OLED but these still have issues.

I think LEDs (but multi colour to allow for easier highlighting of things like delays, 'last call', service info etc, would be preferable. They should last years without defect these days.
 

AM9

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Wasn't it Waterloo that tried plasma panels, with horrible burn in? They eventually switched back to amber LEDs. Now they'd use LCD or OLED but these still have issues.

I think LEDs (but multi colour to allow for easier highlighting of things like delays, 'last call', service info etc, would be preferable. They should last years without defect these days.
I wasn't thinking of plasma, they are virtually obsolete in production. The large 4K TVs in John Lewis are all LCD/LED Backlight or for LG, OLED. OLEDs have life issues but they are likely to be cheap enough to replace regularly in a few years, or the life issues will be fixed.
The fact is that a large screen, say 1.6m x 0.9m could be used flexibly depending on the location, time of day and 'state of emergency'.
 

jon0844

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I wasn't thinking of plasma, they are virtually obsolete in production. The large 4K TVs in John Lewis are all LCD/LED Backlight or for LG, OLED. OLEDs have life issues but they are likely to be cheap enough to replace regularly in a few years, or the life issues will be fixed.
The fact is that a large screen, say 1.6m x 0.9m could be used flexibly depending on the location, time of day and 'state of emergency'.
Yes, plasma is pretty much dead today but not when they were used at Waterloo. There are ways to reduce issues on other screens, but huge panels are still very costly and if they need replacing then there's the cost of changing them (and the logistics).

Any half decent LED system should be able to last many years without failed LEDs or noticeable fading.
 

cjmillsnun

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Signage, signage.
The word is SIGNING. A multiplicity of signs is signing or signs. Leave signage in the computer world of the U.S. from where it originated.
Signage is a recognised British English word in both the Oxford and Cambridge English Dictionaries, and in neither is a recent entry.

Signing has a different meaning, and is not defined as a multiplicity of signs in either dictionary.
 
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cav1975

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Even finding the way in from Euston Road is quite difficult. Last time I entered through the underground station - is there another way?
 

EM2

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Even finding the way in from Euston Road is quite difficult. Last time I entered through the underground station - is there another way?
Not directly from Euston Road, no. Unless you count going via the hotel forecourt.
There is a staircase almost on the corner of Pancras Road and Euston Road, but the main entrances are further up Pancras Road (one direct into Eurostar departures and one into the 'glass box').
But from what I remember as a kid, you never could enter directly from Euston Road, except via the aforementioned forecourt.
 
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