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From split-flap display to multimedia train information system

6 August 2015  •  Author(s): Lukas Spengeler, Project Manager at SBB

Who isn’t familiar with the big blue display information boards in Switzerland’s main train stations? At the time of the display installation more than 25 years ago, these units were the leading technology. Printed panels showed the train information for departing trains. Updating of the information caused the panels to rotate and fall into the desired position. This action caused its well-known sound, which will definitely be missed from the train station halls as technology is updated; the displays were starting to age and the service and warranty was running out, so SBB needed to search out new solutions. Project Manager at SBB, Lukas Spengeler, takes us through the project details and why modern LED displays have now been chosen.

From split-flap display to multimedia train information system

The project consists of 17 train stations with daily 1.3 million customers. That’s 17 aging display boards to be replaced with 44 modern displays at 17 different stations through Switzerland. The stations are located indoors and in covered outdoor areas, and therefore are subject to varying lighting, environmental conditions and temperatures. From Chur in the East to Geneva in the West, the new LED displays utilise the same technology and design, which saves costs in service and maintenance. Extreme wind and weather conditions in the Alpine region are paired with sophisticated design requirements in modern railway stations. Another special requirement is where multiple displays are installed, the train departure display and rail disruption display (showing advertising when no critical disruption news is shown), are used in a double combination fully redundant system. In Switzerland, the four national languages increases the solution complexity. The displays must be able to show all four languages, and the installations must be planned and documented in the local regional language…

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