Hidden information design

I’ve stared at UK mainline railway station departure boards at many times over the years. I am usually fixated on the platform number and whether it will leave on time. So it was only this week that I picked up on the little train ideogram as a footnote at the bottom of each destination on Euston station’s display.

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The diagram flips, this was the dominant image.  It shows:

  • How many carriages are on the train
  • How full of reserved passengers each carriage is (A, B, E and J are very full).
  • Which coaches are first class (KJHG)
  • A cup periodically flashed over coach C to show that was where the shop / takeaway cafe was

It would be interesting to see if this data was available in API form for apps or web service usage and what could be done with it.

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