British train operator Central Trains, which operates an extensive network of services throughout the Midlands region, began installation of new state-of-the-art computerized information displays in its stations. The operation’s Snow Hill station in Birmingham will be the first to be outfitted with the new equipment, at a cost of $324,000. A total of $3.5 million will be spent to upgrade all 30 Central stations.
The information screens will provide the Snow Hill station, which serves 2.7 million passengers a year, with real-time arrival and departure times, through a track-side system monitoring trains’ exact locations.
In addition to station upgrades, Central Trains’ campaign against fare evaders has resulted in a 3% decline in offenses since its inception in March 2005. Violators are fined, and those who fail to pay are prosecuted. In addition, offenders’ names are listed on posters displayed at stations to deter others. The campaign has netted $455,393 in fines, compensation and costs, and nearly 1,300 people have been convicted. In January, convicted offenders paid out nearly $40,000.