Tijdspoor – ProRail

The Brief

The company ProRail is a government task organization that takes care of maintenance and extension of the national railway network and infrastructure in The Netherlands.

In 2016, ProRail started the renovation of Utrecht Central Station and surroundings in order to stay ahead of the growing number of travelers passing through this central hub. Understandably, such endeavors don’t happen overnight nor without affecting the train traffic, resulting in some inconvenience for the travelers over the course of several months.

ProRail commissioned a team of HKU students to reflect on creative ways to transparently communicate their upcoming plans, sketch a clear timeline and promote big milestones to the public.

The objective of the project was to achieve a working and polished prototype within four months, which ProRail could proceed to develop further in the future. Our team was initially given complete freedom and after a few different pitches and alterations, the concept got narrowed down.

The Product

Tijdspoor is an interactive installation based on an old stage illusion called the ‘Pepper’s Ghost’ effect.

Projecting 3D visuals onto an angled sheet of glass from above creates the illusion of said visuals floating in mid-air. The final product needed to be innovative and eye catching in order to attract the public’s attention in such a busy place. Because of their variety and their tendency to be in a hurry, travelers that travel to or through Utrecht Central Station are a complex target audience.

We designed a multiplayer mini-game so multiple people could enjoy the experience at the same time, thus reachin a larger audience. Multiple people playing together in itself is also likely to attract viewers. The mini-game consists of rhythmically hammering nails into a train tracks using big colorful hammers, but making sure to avoid the trains that occasionally pass by. This represents the challenge ProRail faces when juggling the construction projects and the comfort of the passengers. Once one of the player wins, a short informative video about one of ProRails milestones gets played.

Marie Lhuissier
2D Artist | Designer | Project Manager
Sophia Machin
3D Artist
Mathijs van Sambeek
Programmer | Designer
Jeffrey Scheidelaar
Builder | Designer
Luciano Picozzi
Video Editor | Designer