station environment

People wait at a station
station environment
  • Station furniture
  • Design details
  • Environment
  • Colour palette
  • Surfaces

There are more than 1400 Regional Railways stations. The variety is enormous. So is the context in which they are set. There are major terminii in urban settings, local halts in the wildest countryside and everything in between. For this reason the new corporate identity was designed to add to the best characteristics of a particular locale with discretion, not to impose itself brashly as if applying a red hot branding iron. The aim is to encourage passengers and staff with regional allegiances to think in terms of ‘my station, in the care of Regional Railways’, not ‘my locality, taken over lock, stock and barrel by Regional Railways’.

The key phrase here is ‘in the care of’. No amount of tasteful paintwork makes up for malfunctioning lavatories, litter-strewn platforms, broken windows in unheated waiting rooms, potholes in the forecourt and misleading sign systems. The travelling public does not make huge demands of the average station. It is well within our powers to meet all their demands fully and consistently. Bad impressions last. Creating a good impression through attention to this kind of detail is an absolute essential of a successful corporate identity. To maintain the impression is to create new business.

There is a special group of colours to be used on Regional Railways stations, not just the brand shades of blue and grey. This environmental colour palette can be used to bring out the best in any station. The Identity Management binder contains guidance on how to use the colours – whether for large areas, or as highlights, or for specific purposes. Many of our stations will deserve colour schedules specifically drawn up by your profit centre architect.

A relatively small range of station furniture will be available, some of it specially designed and made. It will include waiting shelters, seating, litter bins and lighting. We recognise that it is not easy to furnish a station functionally and make it look good and remain within a strict budget. So we recommend that managers ask their architect for advice. He or she will also advise on the adaptation, refurbishment and renewal of buildings and the built environment, including fencing, pavings and planting.

station environment – colours

Station awning

A specially
designed shelter
called The Classic
incorporates the
basic principles
and standards. All
round visibility and
a barrel-vaulted or
pitched roof.

Decorative details
require sensitive
and creative
treatment with the
colour palette.

Information boards

Surfaces must be
appropriate, robust
and pleasing to
the eye.
Landscaping is

A modular
structure will take
departure sheets,
maps and other
useful information.

This shelter also
incorporates the
basic features.

Maceman ‘Public’
is available with
timber-slatted or
performated steel

Fencing offers
much scope for
attention to detail
and is an
important element
in unifying the

Spot colours

Spot colours
for highlighting

Theme colours

Principal or theme colours.

Basic colours including black and white

The environmental
colour palette
consists of 3
principal colours,
one of which may
be combined with 

any of the neutrals.
Brighter spot
colours are used
sparingly to
highlight special

station signing

station signing
  • Totem signs
  • Platform station signs
  • Corporate signing
  • Sponsor acknowledgement
  • Heritage signing

No-one notices a good signing system. Everyone notices a bad one. It is like a treasure hunt without a prize. We cannot afford to have ‘pretty good’ sign systems. They must be infallible. Travellers in general and commuters in particular are short of time. The slightest flaw in the sign system becomes a major source of irritation to someone who is in a hurry. If, as a result of a flaw in the system, they miss their train, we may well lose their custom in future. We can’t afford to do that.

Signing cannot, by itself, provide the unambiguous guidance system for users of our stations. It must be used in support of well thought out routes and design and location of facilities.

Test your system. Make sure your signs are in exactly the right position. Make sure that someone coming to your station for first time can move without a hitch, as if following a dotted line, straight from the nearest road junction to the train. Even if it works for someone of 6’6″ it may not work for someone of 4’6″. Keep it simple. Get it right for everybody.

All Regional Railways stations will be ‘flagged’ in a unique and distinctive way: the fleximark will appear within a dark blue band on the platform station name and information structure. The fleximark makes its appearance to reinforce the fact that this is indeed a station run by Regional Railways. The PTE symbol will appear on totems and platform station names signs at every station supported by a Passenger Transport Executive, to acknowledge their contribution. And we shall continue to use the tried, tested and unsurpassed Rail Alphabet lettering in black on a white background.

We have developed an additional sign system with a quite separate role. This is known as heritage signing and is used exclusively to point out particular features during journeys along and around the line. It is often associated with specifically designed routes such as the Settle to Carlisle line. These routes are marketed (and new ones may be marketed in future) on the strength of their intrinsic historic interest or the quality of the landscape. Heritage signing provides interesting but non-essential information, which is why it is designed to be distinct from corporate signing.

We don’t have ‘Welcome to….’ signs on Regional Railways. Customers feel welcome in any case when they find themselves in a station that is well lit. has attractive and well-maintained paintwork, good facilities, an excellent signing system and, above all, helpful staff. The public address system – effectively part of of the signing system – is an excellent means of welcoming customers directly and thanking them for travelling with us.