How to increase throughput in your train station with wayfinding solutions

The challenges of the railway industry are many and various. From managing costs and improving efficiency to protecting passengers on a daily basis, train station managers have a lot on their plates!

If you’re investigating wayfinding solutions for the transport sector, here’s a guide to some of the products that could ease your woes. They’re suitable for all areas of the station, from ticket offices, platforms and lifts to maintenance depots and service areas. 

Click the links to jump to details of barrier systems, better signage systems and other ways to improve customer experience in your station.

Want to learn more about keeping your station safer? Read our tips for managing passenger numbers more efficiently.

1) The Tensabarrier® system

Barriers are a tried and trusted way to direct passengers, organise your space and block off hazards. Our popular Tensabarrier® is designed to help you enhance space and prevent accidents.

Tensabarrier® is the safest retractable queuing barrier on the market because of its unique braking system: if detached, the webbing cassette falls to the floor and retracts 2.5 seconds slower than similar products, instead of potentially swinging towards bystanders at speed. 

The base of this product also has the lowest leading edge on the market. This means it prevents less of an obstruction to station visitors with luggage, workers with trolleys, and those with decreased mobility. You’ve got the option to customise too: printed webbing is available featuring warning messages, direction arrows and branding. 

Tensabarriers are available in a wide variety of incarnations to meet different wayfinding needs, including:

Magnetic base – an efficient way to fix posts

Sometimes a busy platform can be the ‘school of hard knocks’! A magnetic base (attached to any floor surface via a floor plate) makes barriers harder to knock over than free-standing ones. Floorplates also clearly mark out the queue layout, while a locating mechanism in the base means it’s quick to place posts where you want them. 

Tensaguide systems – improve flow through your station

To keep people moving, this solution uses panels to create a clearly defined system to aid the flow of passengers. It can be curved or straight, fixed or free-standing. Including merchandising on the panel helps increase revenues for your station or advertisers. For increased safety, Tensator Micam Protection (TMP) panels could be fitted to reduce damage and protect the public in the event of a terrorist or other incident.

360 rotating post – quick change layout

If you need to reconfigure your queue layout quickly and easily to improve wayfinding, here’s a way. The posts stay static but the webbing cassette heads rotate, so you can change the direction with ease. You don’t need to alter the post itself, which is ideal for areas where numbers fluctuate frequently. 

ShortcutQ – shorten the queue route outside peak times

During quiet times, passengers can find themselves walking through a long queue layout designed for multiple visitors. This manual-gate solution helps cut the frustration, creating a shorter route that allows you to adapt to changing volumes. It also provides a fast exit in an emergency.

Wall units – space-saving option 

If you don’t need the barrier in force, simply retract the webbing. This high-quality, durable option is also helpful if you want to keep floor space clear. 

There isn’t just one option for wall units either. The XL wall unit is weather resistant and winds out to 23 metres. It’s especially suitable for train stations as its long webbing length helps you close off platforms. NightView reflective webbing can be used for a highly visible solution. A rotating wall unit that can change direction by 180 degrees is also available.

2) Signage and wayfinding innovations

Good signage frees up customer service staff to help with other queries. Make it easy to see and suitable for your needs. 

Telescopic post – raises to the right height

Raise the sign to eye level (or a maximum of 2.4 metres, depending on the frame size), without needing to use any tools. 

ASIAD compliant sign holder

Tether your sign to an existing Tensabarrier. ASIAD compliant design elements withstand impacts for safety and security.

InQ Totem™ – highly visible signage

A strong, lightweight and customisable solution that can connect to your Tensabarriers. Help passengers find the start of the line, further organise your queue, and display important information.

InQ Portal – a clear entry point

Create a defined entrance for your barrier system to help passengers find where they’re going. This product is also strong and customisable. It’s also fixed, not free-standing, and available in standard or custom sizing. 

3) Technology to improve the passenger experience 

What do your visitors need most help with in the station? What would help keep them happy?

Here are some wayfinding techniques to make their visit run more smoothly, including gathering – and directing – their feedback.

Electronic Call Forward – decrease queue stress

A frequently heard complaint is that a disorderly queue isn’t ‘fair’. Waiting in line but wondering if they’ve chosen the right queue can be stressful for passengers. Remove that anxiety by indicating the next available till or service desk, keeping queues moving without confusion. Electronic Call Forward has been shown to reduce waiting times by 30% and also to increase profitability by up to 96%. We offer both manual and automated systems to increase station efficiency.

Virtual Assistant – cutting-edge communication

Increasingly, it’s harder to get through to passengers with traditional signage; it’s easily missed by visitors who’re looking at their mobile phones. The Tensator Virtual Assistant uses sophisticated AV projection to grab customers’ attention. It never takes a break and is highly customisable (from branding to languages).   

Finding the right wayfinding system is rarely ‘one size fits all’. At your station, you might have an old building to contend with or a need to free up space for retailers. We work on a bespoke, consultancy basis to help you find the solutions you need. Contact us for more information.

Download the brochures for Tensabarrier and Tensator pit protection to learn more about these products. 

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