Greater Anglia is upgrading the technology at its stations, benefiting customers through better Wi-Fi, train information and security.
To do this, the train operator has rolled out miles of high-speed fibre optic cable to 108 stations and improved mobile Wi-Fi connections to the remainder, through increasing the capacity of the 4G network.
The project means that all Greater Anglia stations are now ‘connected’ through the new software, enabling the train operator to provide improved real time digital passenger information to every station and manage pre-planned updates and announcements more easily so that passengers receive clear information about their journeys.
It is also easier for staff to get real time service updates on their devices anywhere on the stations.
In total, over 1,000 new passenger information screens, 1,400 CCTV cameras, 159 new passenger announcement systems, 212 help points and Wi-Fi have been installed across the network since 2018. Greater Anglia has also replaced old equipment and install brand new, state of the art information screens and CCTV cameras at 132 of its 133 stations.
The project has included smaller stations that have never had information screens before such as Brundall Gardens, Gunton, Lakenheath, Oulton Broad South, Spooner Row and Whittlesea.
The new information screens are more accessible as they are easier to read than the dot matrix screens they have replaced. They display train running information in a clear, easy to read format and are much more informative when trains are delayed – as they will allow Greater Anglia’s Control Room to display custom messages to keep passengers fully up to date.
The new help points now include CCTV cameras, the option to talk to a customer service advisor in Norwich as well as an emergency help button that connects directly to the emergency services.
The new system also allows remote monitoring of CCTV via the internet and the ability to share footage more easily with the British Transport Police.
There is even scope in the future for the CCTV cameras to learn how to identify things like graffiti, broken lights and other incidents and automatically alert the relevant teams.
The train operator also hopes to use the system in the future for creating a satellite connection with every train which will receive and distribute real time data so that the train’s exact location can be determined with pinpoint accuracy. This can then be sent straight to staff and information screens to keep passengers better informed, especially during disruption.
Greater Anglia’s Asset Management Director, Simone Bailey, commented: “I’m delighted that we have now completed this major scheme to bring rail station technology in East Anglia fully into the 21st century.
“This will bring benefits for our customers at stations large and small right across our network, harnessing the power of new technology and better connectivity to greatly improve the experience of travelling by rail.”