Scotrail: helping customers feel
safer at Scotland’s stations
“Many people who are on their own late at night find it reassuring to speak to someone and know that the operator can keep an eye on them until the train arrives.”
Anne Gray, Communications and Contingency Manager, ScotRail
To link rail stations across Scotland to Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) monitoring stations.
Virgin Media Business Digital Solution
We installed a next generation communications infrastructure that can carry video, data and voice.
Reduction of vandalism at stations thanks to verbal warnings from staff manning the CCTV operations. Increased train usage by a more confident public. Financial and efficiency gains through data, voice and video convergence over the advanced network.
Digital aims and operational goals
ScotRail runs 343 rail stations in Scotland, 202 of which are unstaffed. To reduce vandalism and make passengers feel safer at stations, and to improve customer services for travellers, ScotRail introduced CCTV and a high capacity next generation infrastructure supporting audio and data. The move would put the customer at the heart of everything ScotRail did next.
Besides reducing vandalism and helping passengers feel safer at stations, ScotRail also wanted to improve customer service for passengers. And that’s exactly what we helped the train operator achieve.
The company wanted intercoms and information points on platforms. It wanted staff monitoring CCTV to be able to speak directly to members of the public. It also wanted passengers to have the ability to communicate directly with staff, even if the station was unmanned.
The rail operator looked at several different suppliers before choosing us. Part of the reason for our selection was the fact we could offer significantly more bandwidth than our competitors. For ScotRail this meant that data and audio communications, along with CCTV imagery, could be transmitted in a cost-effective way.
So far, we’ve provided leased lines for 82 stations. The high capacity of the network has allowed the installation of more ticket vending machines and travel information displays – making travel better for the public.
At the two monitoring centres, our planners and technicians designed and pre-configured Cisco LAN solutions equipment. We also look after it.
Round-the-clock CCTV surveillance of the stations was established, monitored by ScotRail Customer Services Centres in Paisley and Dunfermline. We then used our Next Generation Network (NGN) to connect the rail stations to the monitoring centres.
With all converged data now carried over the company’s advanced network, there’s been significant financial and efficiency benefits for the company. As a single vendor solution, things have been made simple for ScotRail. No chasing several suppliers. Just a single call to us to keep them on track.
“I only need to liaise with one supplier and that saves a lot of time,” said Anne Gray, Communications and Contingency Manager at ScotRail.
Vandalism, graffiti and crime at stations have been cut right back. The Help Points installed for the public to speak directly to CCTV operators are principally for information, but they have also helped boost public confidence. Customers use them to find out train information or report things like left luggage, and also just for the reassurance of knowing that someone is there to watch over them.
“We normally find that once we’ve given people an audible warning at the station, it registers and people don’t offend again. It’s a great way to get the message across – literally,” said Anne.
A rise in passenger usage is probably the biggest accolade the company can receive. And that’s what’s happened. ScotRail is currently planning more parking places at its stations to accommodate the passenger increase.