Train station design

The Design Council in the UK has published a full report of the work they did on train station design. The aim of the project was to find a generic train station design that could be rolled out on the various rail networks. For this they undertook some serious community engagement. 

A concept image of the train station design. It's an aerial view showing how the station fits into the existing residential area.

The majority of rail stations are small to medium size situated in the heart of local communities. This is why they have to deliver more than just trains for commuters. 

The community engagement process gave architects design concepts that work as a whole or a kit of parts. This works well when upgrading existing train stations. Key design elements are

The clocktower – acts as a beacon to help identify the station and orientate people.

The welcome mat – extends the public space outside the station. It creates space between people and cars, inviting people to spend time here.

The activity framework – can be adapted to the needs of each place. Provides space for local communities and small enterprises alongside station facilities.

The photovoltaic canopy – even the smallest stations will include a timber framed platform canopy with integrated PV panels.

The pods – create extra shelter under the platform canopy or activity framework. These can include space for passenger facilities such as waiting rooms, toilets or a ticket office. 

Train stations are evolving from a focus on rail infrastructure to a focus on passengers and the local community. This is how you do universal design – with a focus on users.

The full report of the process and the outcomes is documented in Explore Station: Building momentum for a future passenger hub.


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