Great Western Railway (GWR) has begun a trial of new software that will allow passengers to see real-time train service information.
The four-month trial of the digital platform, built by tech developer Whoosh, has been running since May and allows passengers to see real-time journey information for the train they are on. They can also see real-time rail and travel information for every station in the country.
The digital platform, which is being trialled on board three trains and at Patchway and Newton Abbot stations, is accessed by scanning bespoke station and at-seat QR codes.
Whoosh’s recently patented ‘Tell Us’ functionality also enables contextualised fault reporting by passengers and staff onboard.
“We’re incredibly excited about our trial with Great Western Railway. It allows us to demonstrate the cost-saving opportunities for TOCs while improving passenger communication – and therefore customer satisfaction – too,” said Edmund Caldecott, Whoosh founder and CEO.
“Stations without customer information screens (CIS) are typically unmanaged too, so now customers can simply scan the QR code and get all the CIS information they need, and more besides, at a fraction of the cost to the operator.”
Whoosh already operates several journey information services for other UK transport operators. The tech company teamed up with Network Rail last year to provide personalised information across the UK’s largest stations.
“We are pleased to collaborate with Whoosh during this trial period and look forward to seeing how travel technology can enhance communication with passengers across our network, helping to keep them informed and engaged throughout their journey,” said Mike Preece, GWR development manager.
“We are also excited to see how this trial could lead to innovative revenue opportunities and, most importantly, improved services for our passengers.”
Last year GWR received a new national rail contract from the UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) to run the Greater Western network until 21 June 2025.
The contract also includes a three-year extension option that can be authorised following the approval of the Secretary of State.