£8 million to provide better information for passengers at thousands of National Rail stations

Posted: 13 December 2012 | | No comments yet

More than £8 million of industry funding will be spent by train companies…

Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC)

More than £8 million of industry funding will be spent by train companies to give customers at stations across the UK the most accurate information about their journey.

Funding will pay for a national roll-out to link customer information screens at stations to the latest ‘live’ real time train information data.

The first station screens to benefit will be switched on in summer 2014. When the work is completed in 2015, around 2,000 National Rail stations across the country will give rail passengers the very latest departure and arrival train running information fed from a database developed and maintained by train companies.

Train companies pay for and run National Rail Enquiries (NRE), the UKs most popular destination for rail travel information, and the same data that has already proven popular with millions of people using NRE’s smartphone apps and websites will power the information screens.

£8.27 million has been secured for the national rollout as part of the rail industry’s ongoing strategy to improve customer information. It follows successful trial schemes at 17 stations managed by Virgin Trains along the West Coast Main Line and across all stations operated by Chiltern Railways which operates between London, Birmingham and Aylesbury.

Funding has been secured from the National Stations Improvement Programme (NSIP). Established around three years ago with £150 million of Government funding, the cross-industry NSIP has already brought better stations to millions of passengers in England and Wales. NSIP aims to deliver improvements to a minimum of 150 stations between 2009 and 2014.

Alec McTavish, NSIP lead for the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) said: “This funding is good news for passengers as it means every National Rail station with a customer information screen will be using the most up-to date ‘live’ train running information.

“With train travel more popular now than it has been for 90 years and over 1.4 billion trips made last year, operators know that passengers want the most up to-date information about their journey.

“Significant amounts of time and money have been invested in providing better, more consistent information for passengers. But we know that we can always improve, which is why operators are working with the rest of the industry and listening to passengers to find ways to keep on improving things even further.”

Train companies are working hard to continuously improve the information they give to passengers. Earlier this year NRE launched its own free smartphone app for iPhone and Android operating systems, offering UK passengers even more choice over how they access real time information about train journeys.