The UK Government has announced a $6.89m (£5m) in funding to kickstart the development of the Rail Data Marketplace (RDM).

This new single-access platform, which will be developed jointly by the government and the rail industry, will offer the frameworks and tools for sharing rail data.

The platform will be introduced next year after the required technology development and engagement with the sector and data consumers.

Following the launch, the accessible datasets through the RDM will continue to expand.

The platform is expected to create collaboration opportunities for developers, tech firms, and the rail industry.

It will merge the rail data into passenger-facing applications and help in the creation of new services.

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The initiative is said to be the first of its kind where useful passenger information, including the seat availability, detail on interruptions and availability of facilities will be integrated at one platform.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “Sharing rail data like this opens up new and exciting possibilities for apps and websites that can make taking a train a smoother, quicker and better experience.

“Our reforms in the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail will put an end to the fragmentation of rail data in the industry and unleash new opportunities that will support innovation and enable data to power the services of the future.”

The RDM platform will have the capacity to facilitate new real-time alert services, including the most accessible platform point or passenger flow.

The UK Department for Transport said in a statement: “The RDM will address the fragmentation of data sources by bringing them together on one platform.

“Having the data in one place will facilitate better ways of sharing transparent data and real-time information with passengers, improve data sharing across operational bodies and improve access to data for the government and other public bodies.”

Furthermore, this platform will enable developers as well as firms to directly ask about the data they want to access.