UK rail operator FirstGroup and Bath-based software services company IPL have agreed on a five-year IT innovation framework.
Under this agreement, the companies will identify and develop ways to provide better services by improving the operation of FirstGroup’s train companies, including First Great Western and First TransPennine Express.
It will initially develop new mobile services to combine operational information in order to reduce delays, improve traveller experience, customer service and satisfaction levels.
FirstGroup Rail information systems head Duncan Waugh said: "Up-to-the-minute information in the hands of staff and customers is key to the successful running of today’s railway, and IPL will help us enhance the way we do this by using technology in intelligent ways.
"A targeted investment in this area can deliver transformative results and we’re delighted to be pioneering this innovation-led approach."
IPL will also develop a number of innovative systems, including MAVIS operational alerts application, which provides up-to-date information on train operations, to support operator’s train operating company control centres.
IPL innovation and solutions director Andy Cox said: "We’ll be taking them on the next steps of their digital journey, exploring the art of the possible and finding new ways to use information to improve the passenger experience.
"We draw on our long experience of creating first-class, award-winning digital information systems, which include Nationwide’s online bank and smartphone apps, as well as UCAS’s cloud-based Track service."
First Great Western recently launched its first ‘composite carriage’, which is made up of a mixture of first-class and standard seating.
This is part of an effort to reduce the number of first class carriages on all high-speed trains running through Reading in order to provide 3,000 additional seats.
Image: FirstGroup partnership with IPL will offer enhanced travel experience to passengers. Photo: courtesy of First Group.