A virtual press conference from Sound & Video Contractor

Iconyx and a Tale of Three Stations

Poland [September 2013]...Thanks in large part to funding as one of the EU’s latest members, Poland is investing heavily in its public transport, and Renkus-Heinz digitally steerable systems are a key part of the audio solution in three of the country’s major train stations.

The EU’s expansion in 2004 brought Poland into the European Union, and the ensuing grants from Brussels have been wisely invested into major public projects to refresh the country’s infrastructure. The result is a new look for 21st century Poland. Western Europe-standard motorways now link Poland’s major cities, and the country’s rail system is quickly being brought up to modern high-speed standards.

Three main train stations, each a key part of the country’s updated rail infrastructure, are Warsaw East, Wroclaw and Katowice. Once aging architectural icons, all are now technological marvels, incorporating full international health and safety standards. Regional and international trains link to the Europe-wide high-speed network, and many ‘hub’ stations have now been redeveloped to include shopping malls. A major part of this is the installation of PA/VA systems which accompany video screens displaying train arrival and departure details.

System integrators M.Ostrowski sp.j. has been contracted to provide audio solutions for Warsaw East, Wroclaw, and Katowice stations. In each, while the architecture and loudspeaker locations details differ, the overall concept has been the same. Renkus-Heinz Iconyx digital beam steering arrays, networked over CobraNet via a redundant fiber optical network and controlled by RHAON, complement digital signage in the most acoustically difficult areas of huge booking halls, shopping malls and platform spaces.

Warsaw (East) is a hub station, with many lines interconnecting locally, regionally, and internationally. One of the city’s main rail interchanges, its huge, glass-walled airport style building never boasted user friendly acoustics, but M.Ostrowski’s solution changed all that. STRABAG company was the General Contractor and SYGNITY company was the subcontractor.

This was a common theme of the three contracts, in which measurable acoustical intelligibility was the most important aspect of the audio installations in large, hard surfaced halls. Passengers, finally, would be able to hear announcements in complete clarity, thanks to Iconyx technology’s exceptional STI delivery.

The fully networked design includes a very impressive text-to-voice simulation for regular train announcements, with each station also having manual override in case of train delays. The main hall, a glorious sunlit space where digital signage is flanked by four IC16-R arrays, delivers the essential visual and audio information.

The smaller area for local trains is covered by three Renkus-Heinz IC8 units, while 13 SG61-2Rs and three SG612S-2Rs cover the restaurant area. System distribution is handled by a Yamaha DME64 with CobraNet card, an HP ProCurve and a DME8oC Yamaha CobraNet to analogue output converter. Commissioning was the work of Jim Mobley from Renkus-Heinz and M. Ostrowski’s Michał Popławski.

The second station is Wrocław Główny (main train station), a 15,000 sq m project that restored this 150 year old monument in grand style. In this stunning building upper-level multiple train platforms reside under a classic curved roof. The refurbishment won the 2012 RICS [Royal Institute of Charted Surveyors] Regeneration Award. The new €78m passenger concourse and shopping mall on the lower level has a series of 10 Iconyx IC8-R loudspeakers, plus a pair of IC16-Rs that (almost invisibly) flank giant digital video displays in stereo pairs. In this typically reverberant space, the announcements’ calmness verges on the uncanny. Here, the general contractor was Budimex, the installations supplier, TKTelekom and the audio installations subcontractor M.Ostrowski in cooperation with Tommex Zebrowscy Sp. J.

Along with ceiling speakers suspended above the platforms the rest of the list is largely as at Warsaw – a DME64 processor with CobraNet and analogue input/output cards, while the Yamaha processor is fed from APS APROSYS input modules. Again an electronic text-to-speech simulator serves the audio information for passengers.

The third installation is the train station in Katowice in Silesia, Poland, which features 10 IC16/8-Rs, with Dynacord P64 distribution and a Yamaha DME8oC CobraNet-to-analogue converter. An HP ProCurve serves part of the system’s redundant Ethernet network distribution. The general contractor for this project was STRABAG, the installations supplier TKTelekom and the commissioning was done by M.Ostrowski.

Łukasz Toboła comments: “The Iconyx loudspeakers have enabled us to provide good speech intelligibility, even in a hall that is quite complicated acoustically. The train company and station managers are very satisfied with the quality of sound, and with the excellent speech intelligibility. And that combination, I think, is the main feature that puts us on a higher level than other popular loudspeakers.”

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Headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, Renkus-Heinz, Inc. is the worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of audio operations networks, digitally steerable arrays, powered and non-powered loudspeakers, system specific electronics and fully integrated Reference Point Array systems.

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