UK-based rail operator Virgin Trains has introduced two apps in a bid to improve customer services during potential disruptions.

The apps, ‘Back on Track’ and ‘Track ‘n Travel’, will facilitate communication and provide employees and passengers with real-time updates on services.

The Back on Track app connects the frontline team with the control centre during disruptions.

It will help to improve coordination among teams and enable frontline staff to offer updated and accurate information to customers. Accordingly, staff will also be able to assist passengers with alternative routes and ticket acceptance.

Developed in collaboration with the digital workflow company ServiceNow, the app is already used by hundreds of Virgin Trains employees across its UK network.

The other app, Track ‘n’ Travel, is designed for passengers who can use it to review their journey in real time. This app leverages the same data bank that Back on Track uses, ensuring uniform information across staff and customers.

The app can be accessed through the new on-board portal, vthub.uk, and will be added to the Virgin Trains website soon.

Virgin Trains chief information officer John Sullivan said: “Our main problem at times of disruption is simple, thousands of Virgin Trains colleagues trying to find out the latest information to communicate to as many as 100,000 customers.

“Our Control Centre can get a thousand calls a day from staff across the network during disruption.

“If the information they need is instantly available on their mobile, there’s no need to make that call, freeing up control to deal with the root cause.”

The rail operator expects that the technology will reduce the time taken to resolve incidents by 20 minutes.