Rlys to install large signboards across 2000 stations to tap advt potential

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To exploit the revenue generation potential of the vast real estate it owns, Railways will install large digital signboards across 2000 busy stations to display train-related information and commercial advertisements.
As per the plan, railways will install about 100,000 networked large screens across 2000 stations connected using multi-path protected optical fibre network, with a screen in front of each train coach, in concourse, circulating area, foot over bridges, waiting rooms, lounges and every other place that makes sense to the rail users.
“We are planning carving out a new category of mass addressing by putting up large digital signboards for large viewership at the covered and uncovered platforms, open spaces in the entrance and exit areas and the long foot bridges that span across several platforms for displaying information related to train status round-the-clock using an all-India railway display network (RDN),” said a senior Railway Ministry official involved in the project.
The information needs of the travelling public pertaining to train arrival and departure times, expected delays, cancellations, route diversions and platform numbers of arrivals and departures of different trains will be displayed on these signboards.
While the needs of passengers will be fulfilled through passenger information system, there will be opportunities for revenue earning through advertisements, he said.
A pilot project will be implemented involving about 10 stations to be followed by a roll-out covering about 2000 stations over two years.
The proposed system will ensure there is no cluttering of the content that is of importance to the passengers in tune with the practices at international airports and railway stations.
Current passenger information systems provide information to passengers through LED displays in single colour by making use of National Communication Network.
Closed Circuit TVs and LCD Monitors are also being
concurrently used for providing information besides, departmental announcements. The advertisement activity is localised.
However, the public transporter is now actively considering to revamp the entire passenger information system by creating a Pan-India Railway Display Network, leveraging on the National Communication Network to tap the huge commercial advertisement potential of the vast real estate it owns.
The official said all sign boards, whether located inside or in open spaces, will be visible day and night from long distance and displays will be environmentally protected.
The size and location of the display boards inside the covered areas will be appropriately chosen to ensure visibility for people on trains and passengers waiting on the platforms.
The project is proposed to be implemented by a consortium involving railways, RailTel, advertisers and display screen manufacturers. Revenue-sharing model will be adopted for the project which will be a win-win for all concerned, including the potential investment agencies, sources said.
Railways will seek Expressions of Interest from the interested parties soon, they said.

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