Thames Trains has awarded a £5·4m contract to Racal-BRT to install, manage and maintain a real-time passenger information system at 72 stations on its network, which links London Paddington, Reading, Oxford, Worcester and Gatwick Airport. Information from train describers, timetable and train reporting systems will be supplied automatically to all stations, each of which will extract relevant data for visual display or audio broadcast. Real-time information will also appear on the Thames Trains web site.

Controlled from Reading, the system is due to go live by May 1998. In addition to platform monitors, information will be presented on new indicator boards at Oxford and Slough, and map displays at seven other principal stations showing the location of services. Screens displaying the time remaining before the next train arrives will be installed at stations between and London and Reading.

Public address equipment will use infra-red sensors to detect the presence of passengers before announcements are made, volume controls to avoid disturbing local residents and induction loops for customers wearing hearing aids. Help points will be installed at some locations. o