Case Study

Inform Passenger Information - South Western Railway

L.B. Foster has deployed a total of 42 Inform by L.B. Foster wireless, mobile totems at 23 stations across South Western Railway's (SWR) extensive network. Each screen features L.B. Foster’s unique Inform Media software, which aggregates a range of rail information feeds in a user-friendly way. A wide range of additional functionality is also available as part of Inform Media’s suite of software solutions.


As part of South Western Railway’s commitment to communicating effectively with its customers, the company sought to improve access to information for passengers on stations, as well as the quality, relevance and usefulness of travel information. A requirement was identified for a range of new customer communication touchpoints, including access to important passenger information in and around the station without the need for fixed power or communications infrastructure to:

  • Deliver real-time travel disruption information in an easily accessible format
  • Provide rainbow boards which show the status of routes from multiple TOCs in a traditional list format
  • A-Z timetables, Facebook and Next Fastest Trains functionality
  • Enable deployment wherever access to information is required for customer ease of access
  • Feature wireless, rechargeable displays
  • Comply with IP65.
  • Manufactured in accordance with Section 12 for use on rail infrastructure.

Here at SWR, we’re committed to improving our customers’ journeys from start to finish. L.B. Foster’s Inform totems and Inform Media suite of digital software solutions elevate the customer experience, from providing journey status maps and disruption notifications, to helping customers plan where to go next or even providing details of the nearest coffee shop.

Christian Neill, Customer Experience Director, South Western Railway

Our Solution

Whilst much of what South Western Railway required was available ‘off-the-shelf’ hardware from L.B. Foster’s Inform range, there were a number of bespoke software functions that required special development. L.B. Foster ran a number of workshops in collaboration with South Western Railway to explore the visual presentation of these bespoke software functions. This involved mapping all the routes and discussing how the disruptions should be presented, then producing wireframes of the data for approvals before starting development.

Our solution includes building 14 live status route maps that will identify disruption and help passengers plan journeys more efficiently. After highlighting the location of disruption, the screens then show details about the incident(s) on the next page(s). In addition, new rainbow board functionality will show the status of routes from multiple train operating companies (TOCs) in a more traditional list format. These allow the screens to show different routes on different days of the week and give priority to disrupted routes.

Inform Media by L.B. Foster is a comprehensive end-to-end digital navigator software platform that brings together journey planning data feeds from a variety of sources to inform personal and business travel decision-making. Deployed at 23 SWR stations, the integrated hardware and software solution combines the latest in high definition, touchscreen technology with a wide range of tailored data feeds including using industry messaging system and also LICC Tiger data from Worldline.

Inform Media focuses on the total journey line. Journey Planning is based on a detailed analysis of actual passenger journeys, identifying critical touchpoints at which information is accessed. These include ticket booking, platform information for station arrival, where to go, security information and retail/food and drink opportunities.

Inform Media’s rugged hardware has been extensively tested to meet today’s stringent materials, security and safety standards including ASIAD 2017’s rigorous standards designed to keep airport infrastructure safe. It is perfectly suited for use in indoor or outdoor environments. As it is fully mobile, the unit can be moved to any location inside or outside a station where the delivery of important customer information is required.

The totem is designed and manufactured to Section 12 compliance for use on underground infrastructure, as well as IP65 for outdoor use. The totem hardware is also ASIAD Explosion certified for use in public areas, particularly airport terminals. Current Inform Media applications include real-time live train information from Knowledge Base & Darwin feeds, disruption information and a unique and user-friendly journey planner. Additional applications include timetable information, station mapping and customer user surveys.

The 42 Inform mobile totems installed at stations across the South Western Railway network are an important part of our customer service, providing critical travel information where it’s needed. The team at L.B. Foster were great to work with, taking the time to understand our exact needs and producing bespoke software functions to enhance the journey experience for our customers. “The combination of a mobile, wireless, battery-powered digital display and powerful Inform Media software has delivered over and above our expectations. Having these Inform totems in our stations is enabling us to deliver high quality communications to our customers as they pass through the station and beyond.

Christian Neill, Customer Experience Director, South Western Railway