WhoshouldIsee Tracks

What part does innovation play in getting people back on the rails?

There are so many factors involved in people’s decision to use or not use trains.

Cost, station location, ease of journey/number of stops, speed of journey, ease of access to facilities.

As a technology company there is a limit to our ability to impact these factors since we don’t set the prices and we can’t build new stations or tracks to new destinations. So, what can we do? Where can we help?

For less frequent travellers we can offer comfort in accurate, relevant information. We can configure end to end information to guide people along their journey; from available parking, which platform the train will be departing from and where their carriage will be placed along the platform. If the amenities are functioning and where to find alternatives if not. For people who are unfamiliar with rail travel a high level of reliable information can ease travel anxiety.

Regular rail users already know how invaluable the right information can be. Real-time information has transformed expectations, it can make or break passenger satisfaction on a journey. Delivering truly real-time information (at a time when even the most experienced systems had an accepted delay) was ground breaking for KeTech; the impact it had, and continues to have, is felt by both passengers and operators. Seeing this change encourages KeTech to search for yet more ways to help improve the passenger experience.

More and more people are choosing to travel by train for its green credentials; every passenger train takes on average 500 cars off our roads and one freight train equates to 76 fewer lorries[1]. For the eco-conscious traveller, it might be uplifting to be reminded of such statistics as they travel. Or perhaps they’d be interested in learning more abo­ut how train operators are actively engaging with innovators to further improve the green-appeal by reducing carbon emissions and other waste.

Network Rail has set Green Targets for themselves as a whole; that means not only reducing their direct emissions but indirect ones too. Partners across the industry are searching for ways to be greener, and passengers expect to see improvements. Collating information about how green a journey has been might convince more people of the value of rail travel. Perhaps it could also be a tool for operators to quantify which initiatives are working well.

Knowing where to look for data, finding the best way to harness and understand it is the key to all improvements, especially if we want a greener future.

[1] Rail Delivery Group 2021 https://media.raildeliverygroup.com/news/national-rail-double-arrow-logo-goes-green-in-new-campaign-ahead-of-cop26

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