The Department for Transport (DfT) is encouraging closer links between the rail industry and technology firms so intelligent travel apps can be developed in the future.
Overseen by an industry-led taskforce, the action plan will see rail and tech firms work together more closely with the ultimate aim of creating seamless journeys for passengers and businesses that are hassle-free, giving up-to-the-minute information on everyday issues on the railway including delays, services, available seats and on-board facilities.
The plan has been launched by Jo Johnson, the Rail Minister and Paul Plummer, who is the Rail Delivery Group Chief Executive.
Mr Plummer explained the importance of technology on the railways for the past, present and future.
He 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 and more control.”
In partnership, the Rail Delivery Group and the government have published the ‘joint rail data action plan’ setting out how these plans can be delivered, as well as deadlines for implementation.
The rail industry is accelerating its move towards greater use of technology, as seen by Network Rail’s Digital Railway Strategy, and by working closer with technology firms, it will provide the sector with a better way to use data, allowing train and rail companies to plan more effectively, predict and fix issues before they arise.
By taking a proactive rather than reactive approach, the railway will be much more reliable; the DfT believes this can become a reality with closer links between rail companies and technology firms.