Locale : North America (English)
Panaromic view of Rocher Station at night

Stations and lines

The primary function of any station is to provide for the safe and efficient movement of passengers between the public thoroughfares at ground level and the trains.

Ideally, the design should be a combination of good architecture and optimal function, satisfying the needs of passengers and station operations.

Each design presents its own set of challenges, whether it is coordinating with adjacent land owners, constructing in densely populated areas, or accommodating the movement of passenger flows and maintaining train operations while improving the existing layout.

Our design experience encompasses stations on metro lines, the complications of providing interchange facilities between new and existing lines at established stations, plus the upgrading and refurbishment of existing facilities.

Mott MacDonald provides the full range of structural, civil, mechanical and electrical design services for projects large and small.

Station design that considers everyone

Station design should consider all users. The simplicity of layout and clarity of signage provides smoother passenger movement whether platforms are elevated or below ground.

We review the positioning of ticket offices and retail outlets, staff accommodation and system facilities, stairs, escalators, and ticket barriers in developing circulation routes for safe and free movement during all operating conditions.

Our commissions include safety studies of ticketing arrangements of underground stations, which embraced the design, construction, maintenance, and repair of the gates and ticketing machines. They have included the training of staff, control center arrangements, and the positions of machines and gates within the station concourses.


Ensuring that all parties can appreciate the planning and approach to the formulation of a metro station can be a major challenge, as these projects are often large and complex. Our application of computer visualization techniques is essential to addressing these challenges and communicating ideas, transforming the vision of our clients into reality.

Our visualization skills provide a range of benefits to any building or infrastructure project, and enhance the profile of clients involved in the rail and metro sector. Integrated into projects from the early planning stage, our visualizations enable our clients to fully appreciate the form of the project and understand its impact on the local environment.


The design of a station layout needs to address normal and congested conditions, and to provide clear evacuation routes and control systems to ensure the safety of all users of the station in the event of an incident.

STEPS is a state-of-the-art software tool, developed in-house by Mott MacDonald, for simulating pedestrian dynamics under normal and emergency conditions. Using STEPS to optimize people movement can reduce the cost of building or station design, provide a more agreeable environment for users of the station, assist emergency egress management, and maximize retail potential.

We boast an unparalleled track record in the design and implementation of tunneling projects spanning more than 100 years, with many of these being rail and metro projects.


Our origins are rooted in tunneling, dating back to our founders’ involvement in the development of London's underground rail system at the turn of the 20th century – an association that still continues today.

Our skills cover all types of tunnels – bored, segmentally lined, cut-and-cover, immersed tube, and sequential excavation method – in every kind of ground from the hardest rock to the softest clay.

We have successfully designed some of the largest soft-ground caverns in urban/ built-up areas anywhere in the world for our London Bridge Station and Heathrow Express projects in London, and for the Mission Valley LRT system in San Diego.

Our participation in many of the world’s most challenging projects has required us to overcome unique aspects. We have the practical knowledge to know what methods work best providing innovative solutions to technical challenges. These skills are invaluable in developing safe and cost-effective underground complexes required for metro stations.

Viaducts and elevated trackways

Elevated trackways can be visually intrusive, particularly when located in densely populated areas, and the architecture of the viaducts is a key feature in the successful.

We have designed viaducts for a number of global projects. In the development of this work we have developed in-house CADD methods for bridge design and drafting, to dramatically enhance the efficiency of the design process through to the completion of construction drawings. Our bridge engineers have expertise in construction methods, specialist foundation techniques, earthquake analysis and design, and assessment of noise and vibration effects.

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