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UK rail first in-screen British Sign Language interpreters launch at London Euston

  • Posted by Graham Kett,
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In a UK rail first, Network Rail has partnered with software and hardware specialist L.B. Foster Netpractise to launch in-screen British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters on fixed and mobile digital passenger information displays at London Euston station.

A wireless display totem depicting a British Sign Language interpretor on screen

British Sign Language is the preferred language of over 87,000 deaf people in the UK. Twenty fixed and mobile Inform Media digital displays, equipped with BSL functionality, will be deployed throughout passenger areas on London Euston’s station concourse and platforms.

James Dean, Route Managing Director, London Euston station says: “Putting our passengers first is what we do. That means we want to meet the needs of every customer. Many of our Deaf community are unable to read English, so signing may be their only means of communication.

“That’s why we have embarked on this project with L.B. Foster to develop new digital displays that feature a wide range of video messages delivered by in-screen British Sign Language interpreters. This is a UK rail first and reflects London Euston and Network Rail’s commitment to improving customer accessibility.”

L.B. Foster Netpractise teamed up with Clarion UK, a leading provider of BSL interpreters, to develop a library of generic video content that is available for call-off as required by Network Rail, using L.B. Foster’s Inform Media Content Management System. In addition, unique video content, such as disruption messages or service updates, can be made live within an hour of an event.

Graham Kett is Technical Manager at L.B. Foster Netpractise. He explains: “As a project team, we have developed a sophisticated digital passenger information display that features content created specifically for our deaf community. We are able to respond quickly to operating conditions and upload tailored BSL content to complement on screen messaging.

“L.B. Foster Netpractise has a long history of working successfully with Network Rail, including customer information systems for the London Olympics. Our Inform range of mobile totems and fixed screens, powered by L.B. Foster’s Inform Media operating system, now feature prominently across the UK rail network, providing passengers with timely travel information updates, as well as wayfinding and route details.”

We understand that rail travel can be daunting for anyone with specific needs and we’re always looking at ways we can improve accessibility so everyone can travel with confidence.

We’re really excited to have these screens installed and in action, to see the real difference they will make for passengers who use British Sign Language. Euston station is proud to be leading the way, and I look forward to a time in the not too distant future when screens like these will be the norm on the railway and not an exception

Loraine Martins, Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Network Rail

London Euston is one of the UK’s top 10 busiest stations with over 72 million passengers each year.

For more information on L.B. Foster’s Inform Media range of solutions visit here