British Sign Language travel advice rolled out at major stations

Network Rail have installed British Sign Language travel announcement touchscreens at eight major stations.

British Sign Language Screen in Birmingham New Street

British Sign Language Screen in Birmingham New Street - Credit: Network Rail

Some of the country’s busiest railway stations, including Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Piccadilly and Birmingham New Street, now have British Sign Language travel announcements. From the start of April 2023, touchscreens have gone live for deaf passengers at eight Network Rail managed stations showing signed travel information of the latest advice for travellers.

Euston station was the first to pilot the technology in 2021, and now all four stations in Network Rail’s North West and Central region have installed the screens – the first region to achieve the milestone. The touchscreens have been developed over the last three years with Nottingham-based screen manufacturer LB Foster.

British Sign Language screen in Liverpool Lime Street

British Sign Language screen in Liverpool Lime Street. Credit: Network Rail

Sign Language interpreters have created a library of standard messaging as part of the screen software which can be seen instantly. But the main selling point is that a team of interpreters are on standby to make bespoke signed information as situations evolve or during periods of unexpected disruption. Within an hour messaging can be turned into British Sign Language and the videos uploaded directly to the screens using 4G technology.

“I’m really proud that the pioneering work started by the team at Euston station two years ago has now been rolled out at stations across the country to benefit deaf passengers who rely on British Sign Language,” Dave Penney, Network Rail’s North West and Central region Passenger Director, said. “We know that rail travel can be daunting for anyone with specific needs, and I really hope this makes a difference to give people confidence to travel by rail. We are always developing new ways to improve accessibility so it’s great this initiative is being adopted far and wide.”

The Network Rail managed stations which now use the touchscreen technology across Britain are:

  • Birmingham New Street station
  • London Euston station
  • Liverpool Lime Street station
  • Manchester Piccadilly station
  • Leeds station
  • Reading station
  • London Paddington station
  • Bristol Temple Meads station
  • Kings Cross (to be live in May 2023)
  • London Liverpool Street (to be in May 2023).

Global Railway Review’s Access For All interview series – over the coming weeks we have exclusive interviews with rail accessibility experts from train operating companies to understand more about the strategies and projects in place to make rail travel more accecssible for all. Participants will include Northern, TransPennine Express, DSB, ProRail, Avanti West Coast, Hull Trains, and many more! Our first interview with Catherine Langlois, Senior Advisor – Universal Accessibility at VIA Rail, is available to read now!

If you would like to take part in the Access For All series, or would like to nominate a colleague, please email: Craig Waters, Editor, Global Railway Review.


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