This thread for railway typophiles / Margaret Calvert fans

Almost unnoticed amongst the excitement of today's @networkrail station competition is that today also marked the release of Network Rail's new typeface - Rail Alphabet 2 - into the public realm. #RailAlphabet2 [1/11]
Things to note...

Rail Alphabet 2 is the third version of the typeface, after #RailAlphabet and New Rail Alphabet.

It is no inferior copy. Rail Alphabet 2 has been drawn by Margaret Calvert, in collaboration with Henrik Kubel (they worked together on New Rail Alphabet) [2/11]
More things:

Newly drawn, it is not and was never intended to be simply a digital version of Rail Alphabet. It looks similar to, but not exactly the same as either Rail Alphabet or New Rail Alphabet, and has been designed for use by Network Rail in the 21st Century.

More things:

Network Rail will use Rail Alphabet 2 on new wayfinding signage at its stations. The typeface is a lighter weight than #RailAlphabet and the letter forms slightly more condensed. These will be some of the main differences between Rail Alphabet and Rail Alphabet 2.
If you're hoping for a recreation of Rail Alphabet signage you may be disappointed. But the people responsible at Network Rail really care about this project. They want something as good as Rail Alphabet, that draws on its history, but does its job in a modern railway environment
Signage will revert to black lettering on a white background. As the programme rolls out, it will eventually mean the end of the blue signage with white Brunel-typeface lettering at Network Rail stations, first applied in Railtrack days.

It is this Rail Alphabet 2 wayfinding signage project that Sir Peter Hendy was referring to in this tweet earlier in the year:

Rail Alphabet 2 has been designed as a bespoke product for exclusive use by Network Rail so it's not likely to be available as a download. Sorry.

So where is it to be seen in public now? The station design competition website (, the competition brief ( and the accompanying retrospective book "Hub" ( are all set in Rail Alphabet 2. So take a look [9/11]
The competition brief and website feature sections/pages of white Rail Alphabet 2 text on red backgrounds. This is intentional, and meant to hark back to DRU's British Rail #doublearrow logo. (Did I mention that the people behind this at Network Rail really care about this?)
Today's release of Rail Alphabet 2 is a soft launch, perhaps not surprising as the rail industry has its mind on other things. Expect to see and hear much more about the typeface, and the wayfinding signage project, later in the year. [11/ENDS]
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