4.1 Introduction

4.1.1 Although the adoption of the Rail Alphabet for signing typeface is no longer a mandatory requirement, it is the general policy of the current TOC to utilise this style throughout its network.

4.1.2 In acknowledgement of this policy, the Design Guide recommends the continued use of the Rail Alphabet, with due regard to the architectural integrity of the stations and buildings along the line. To this end, careful consideration must be given to the location of signs to strike a balance between clear, concise signage and the aesthetics of the structures.

4.2 General Principles

4.2.1 The standard station signage to be adopted should be the Corporate Identity Rail Alphabet style established under British Rail in 1965 and continued under the auspices of Network Rail and the TOCs.

4.2.2 This is currently in use on the line and should continue as it is internationally recognised as a clear and concise style and has been emulated in other countries.

4.2.3 The black Rail Alphabet on white enamel or plastic (as appropriate) should be adopted throughout. Red double arrow rail logos and blue directional arrows should also be utilised as appropriate.

4.2.4 The practice of incorporating the emblems of the local Planning Authority on the station name boards should be maintained.

4.2.5 TOC branding ideally should be avoided. Due to the transient nature of the ownership of these companies any branding can become out of date long before the signs in question are life-expired. Any form of temporary branding (eg vinyls) can soon look shabby and become an eyesore.

4.2.6 It should be noted that existing station name signs bear Northern Rail branding. These should be replaced with non-TOC branded signs as time and funding permits.

4.2.6 The provision of reproduction signs from different eras should generally be avoided. (see 4.6 below).

4.3 Railway Group Standards

4.3.1 RGS GIRT7014 Iss 1 Part G2 sets out requirements for platform signs.

4.3.2 This stipulates that “at all stations, passenger information signs shall be provided to clearly indicate:

  • Access to and egress from platforms
  • Station name and, where appropriate, the unique platform identity
  • Emergency escape routes
  • Emergency telephones and help points where provided
  • Disabled facilities where provided
  • Routing of passengers via a subway or footbridge and routing of disabled passengers where this is different The parts of the station out of bounds to members of the public Sufficient illumination shall be provided for these signs to be visible in the hours of darkness or low light conditions when the station is open to station users”.

4.3.3 Fixing of signs to station buildings should be avoided wherever possible. In cases where this is unavoidable, due consideration should be given to the integrity of the design and appearance of the building. (See also 6.3 ‘Listed Buildings’.)

4.3.4 Where signs are affixed overhead a minimum headroom allowance of 2500mm should be made. (GIRT7016 Iss 4 Part 8 8.1.)

4.3.5 With the exception of signs suspended from canopies or buildings, no sign shall be located less than 2000mm from the platform edge.

4.4 Station Signs Scheduling: Checklist

4.4.1 The Network Rail document Design Guidelines Issue A “Signing” Sheet 2239 sets out a checklist for a station signing schedule at staffed and unstaffed stations.

4.4.2 These lists are not exhaustive and certain signs are not always applicable, but they do form the basis of a standard to which all station signing should comply.

4.4.3 Unless otherwise indicated items apply to both staffed and unstaffed stations.

4.4.4 Approach/Entrance

  1. DoTR signs etc.
  2. Boundary signs
  3. Pole sign or location signs (incorporating “double arrow” logo)
  4. Entrance signing
  5. Waiting restrictions
  6. Car park signs
  7. Taxis/buses etc.

4.4.5 Station Front (normally applicable to staffed stations only)

  1. Fascia sign
  2. Projecting sign (if no approach sign)
  3. Signing for alternative entrances

4.4.6 Ticket Hall (staffed stations only)

  1. Courtesy sign
  2. Direction of travel/platforms
  3. Ticket office signing
  4. Facility signs and doorplates
  5. Miscellaneous signs (trespass etc.)

4.4.7 Platforms

  1. Running-in signs
  2. Name signs
  3. Platform numbers
  4. Car stop marks
  5. Way out signs
  6. Subway/footbridge signs
  7. Warning signs
  8. Miscellaneous signs (eg no smoking in waiting rooms)
  9. Facility signs and door plates (staffed)
  10. Alternative exit signs (staffed)

4.4 Station Signs Scheduling: Checklist (continued)

4.4.8 Running-in signs have not been adopted on the S&C. Standard 2100mm x 305mm wall or post-mounted station name signs have been and should continue to be utilised throughout.

4.4.9 Full details of signing schedules and specifications, including colour, materials, dimensions and locations can be found in the Network Rail Design Guidelines Issue A “Signing”.

4.4.10 See Appendix 4 for details.

4.5 Statutory Signs

4.5.1 Signs and notices warning of the dangers of railways shall be provided at all stations.

4.5.2 Refer to RGS GI/RT 7033 Iss 2 “Lineside Operational Safety Signs”.

4.6 Reproduction Signs

4.6.1 The provision of reproduction signs or signs in the style of previous administrations ideally should be avoided.

4.6.2 Unless carefully managed their presence can lead to a confusing array of different styles and colours that can be misleading and unsightly. This is particularly so where there is a mixture of periods, such as Midland and early BR.

4.6.3 It can also be at odds with the fact that these stations are providing access to a modern rail system and are not working museums.

4.6.4 However, it is recognised that a number of such signs already exist and have been provided by and with the voluntary efforts of individuals whose enthusiasm the Design Guide would not wish to undermine by recommending their removal.

4.6.5 It is therefore suggested that the following criteria be carefully considered when contemplating the addition of such items to a station:-

  1. Is there a need for such a sign?
  2. Will it serve a useful purpose? Signs purely for decoration should be avoided.
  3. Are these needs best fulfilled with a reproduction style sign as opposed to a modern equivalent?
  4. Where will it be located?
  5. How will such a sign impact on the station environment as a whole?
  6. What period does the proposed sign belong to? ie MR, LMS, BR. Will this conflict with any existing reproduction signs?
  7. What will be the standard of quality? Poorly made signs soon deteriorate and look out of place.
  8. What will be the maintenance implications? How often will it need repainting and by whom and at whose expense?
  9. What is its life expectancy and at whose expense will it be replaced, if at all?

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