Fitch London’s long-mooted brand for ‘metro-style’ rail services in London pulls out of the siding this week in a £1.5m initiative intended to encourage more passengers on to off-peak suburban trains.
Called the Overground Network or ON, a name devised by Fitch London, the concept is being piloted on four major south London routes, with branding applied to all 41 participating stations. The aim is to clarify rail services for passengers, who are often confused by the number of operators and adverse publicity about network performance, through better information design and more co-ordinated signage.
If the scheme proves successful, after a six-month evaluation period, it could be rolled out to ‘all points of the compass’ across the capital’s rail network, says Fitch London client director Stephen Green.
The group has created the ON identity, as well as route diagrams, a website and branch guidelines covering leaflets and posters. Signage will appear outside ON stations.
South London was chosen as the ‘initial focus’ because it has been ‘badly served’ by the Underground, he says, and has a mix of train operating companies.
‘Having a unifying brand is all about raising awareness of [the] system,’ Green adds. ‘When potential passengers understand it better, it opens up the network to them. In the longer term, we want people to see ON as being as convenient as the Tube – a true “turn up and go” network.’
The ‘metro’ concept is defined as routes that have a minimum of four trains an hour, as well as other criteria referring to safety – such as CCTV coverage – and the provision of information.
BamberForsyth Fitch first won the project, before it passed to Fitch London following the group’s restructuring (DW 1 August).