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London Waterloo station upgrades PA system with Tannoy VLS

London's Waterloo station was recently equipped with a new PA system comprising Tannoy's new VLS Series. Some 350,000 passengers passing through the transport link each day will now hear the Tannoy-powered announcements.

With over 91 million passenger entries and exits between April 2010 and March 2011, London’s Waterloo is one of Britain’s busiest railway stations. A recent upgrade to the station’s PA system saw the implementation of Tannoy’s VLS Series.

Glasgow-based TG Baker was enlisted to handle the installation of the PA system, with the entire project funded by Network Rail and overseen by main contractor NG Bailey rail, which handled the design and commissioning phase of the project.

With around 350,000 passengers passing through the per day, the station required a system that would provide clear and concise announcements and one that could cope with the reflective surfaces such as marble and glass, which cause high reverberation times.

Tannoy’s new VLS Series was specified because of multiple attributes, including transducer technology coupled with an innovative new passive crossover network design. The series is the first from Tannoy to incorporate FAST (Focussed Asymmetrical Shaping Technology), delivering acoustic performance benefits not previously seen across a full range of passive column loudspeakers.

“We’ve used Tannoy’s QFlex digital beam steering range at other transport projects in the UK, including a major installation at Glasgow Central, but this is the first time we have utilised the technology available in the new passive column range,” comments Brian Andrew, head of TG Baker’s Railway Division.

“The VLS was a perfect solution for the space, as it fitted in with the overall architecture and allowed us to use the existing structure to hang the loudspeakers. It also provided the audio coverage that was essential for a busy transport hub like Waterloo.

“Both the styling and audio quality of VLS Series fits very well with the recently built prestigious retail balcony and the high end stores that it contains. The VLS loudspeakers, once commissioned, provide the balcony area with the same quality and coverage as that of the active ‘intelligent’ loudspeakers that cover the main concourse area.”