Wolff Olins rolls out its Heathrow Express plan

Wolff Olins this week unveiled its design concepts for Heathrow Express, the high-speed rail link from central London to Heathrow Airport. The designs include the service’s identity, its train exteriors and interiors, signs and two stations.

Wolff Olins has been developing the branding and service concepts for two years. It researched four different service offers, with characteristics ranging from an airline to a conventional local train.

“The research showed that high speed, high capacity and high information were the priorities,” says a Wolff Olins spokeswoman.

The group describes the service’s offer as modern, efficient, simple and direct. These qualities are reflected in the brand’s colours of white, dark blue, violet and metallic blue, the spokeswoman adds.

Detailed designs for the 14 trains have been created by Design Triangle to Wolff Olins’ specification. It was brought on board in October 1993 to create the train interiors and exteriors after Minale Tattersfield came up with the original design in 1991.

The body is in silver metallic blue with dark blue under the windows. Interiors have been designed to be flexible with moveable luggage stacks and seating. Design for the two new stations at Heathrow was developed by Wolff Olins in conjunction with technical architect Couves.

Heathrow Express, a joint venture between BAA and British Railways Board, is due to begin running in June 1998.

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