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RAIL CHAMPIONS


Piers Connor, managing director of PRC Rail Consulting Ltd, and Felix Schmid, Professor in Railway Systems Engineering at the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education at the University of Birmingham, give their thoughts on the issues that arise from the need for stations to satisfy a multitude of requirements for passenger transport.


A


irports, harbours and stations form interfaces within modes and between


multiple modes, providing both intermodal and intramodal connectivity. However, a more in-depth analysis reveals that such fa- cilities have functions that go beyond their role of links in a transport chain.


A beacon for the area


Stations in city environments, with other major structures in close proximity and often surrounded by large visually and commercially attractive corporate build-


78 | rail technology magazine Jun/Jul 11


St Pancras International station


ings, have to stand out as beacons for the community and the city. They must be eye- catching, built to high standards and they must attract passengers to the railway.


Good examples are Berlin Hauptbahnhof in Germany, Lille Europe in France, Be- jing South Station in China and the future Canary Wharf station of Crossrail and the renovated St Pancras in London. However, while a station might have an important function as a beacon, it must still be de- signed to meet the needs of the railway, of the people using it and the staff running it.


A station is a transport hub, by defi nition. Even the most humble stop in a tram- way network allows interchange between movement on foot and travel by tram. Rail- way stations thus represent focal points for journey mode changes; places that travellers require for business, commut- ing and leisure travel. They arrive on foot, by bicycle, car, taxi, bus, coach, tram and metro, and they carry luggage ranging from a small computer bag to a pair of cases each the size of steamer trunks, so they must be able to fi nd the station easily and they must have good access to the facilities and the


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