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Train companies and technology companies to together revolutionise the rail industry

Posted: 10 August 2018 | | No comments yet

The next 10 years will see significant changes in the rail industry, including using digital technology to make journeys on the railways easier and simpler.

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Train companies have decided to publish more real-time information to enable tech firms to develop intelligent travel apps for the future, announced Rail Minister, Jo Johnson, and Rail Delivery Group Chief Executive, Paul Plummer.

The aim is closer working between technology and rail firms to cause more seamless, hassle-free journeys and better information for services and delays, as well as seats and on-board facilities.

Better use of data could also allow rail companies to plan more effectively and predict and fix issues before they arise, creating a more reliable railway.

Transport Minister, Jo Johnson, said: “This will speed the development of travel apps that provide passengers with helpful information about their journeys.”

The government and the Rail Delivery Group have published the ‘Joint rail data action plan’ which details the obligations and deadlines for delivering the ambitions, overseen by an industry-led taskforce.

Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group, Paul Plummer, said: “Technology gave rise to the railway, connecting Britain, and the rail industry wants to channel this spirit to help produce cutting-edge products and services that can be exported around the world.

“Digital technology in rail already means more timely information and less time spent waiting, helping to put customers in charge, and as part of the rail industry’s plan to change and improve we want to use technology to give customers more control.”

Building on data that the industry has already made available, data will be released over the coming months to provide more consistent and timely information about services, delays and disruption. Information on the carriages that make up each train will be available, enabling operators to accurately communicate on-board facilities and help passengers plan ahead and board in the most convenient place.

The plan will see the rail industry go even further; identifying and removing barriers to better information-sharing by improving standardisation of how data is collected, stored and published, and improving clarity over which data is commercially sensitive.

Improving how rail companies and technology firms work together presents an opportunity for the UK to match its expertise in emerging technologies and address the transport challenges set out in the government’s ‘Future of mobility grand challenge.

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