TheTrainline is extending its [email protected] ticketing trial following a reportedly overwhelming response from rail passengers and train operating companies (TOCs). The trial, which is celebrating its three month anniversary, is to be extended with Virgin Trains and ‘one’ to 15 December 2006.
With the aim of introducing [email protected] nationwide by early 2007, TheTrainline is currently seeking accreditation from the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) and will be inviting all TOCs to join the scheme as of January 2007.
Three months on from the launch of the [email protected] trial, Virgin Trains is adding further routes in addition to London to Birmingham and Manchester, and MidlandMainline is reviewing the possibility of applying [email protected] to its business tickets. By the end of the trial it is anticipated that approximately 25,000 tickets will have been sold.
Mark Furlong, Commercial Director at TheTrainline, comments “We are delighted at recent progress made by the rail industry in the area of ticketing as, the easier we make the booking process, the more likely people are to travel by train.
“The [email protected] pilot has proved such a success we hope to get accreditation as soon as possible and will be working with all train operating companies from January 2007 to implement UK-wide. Mobile ticketing, involving tickets straight to the customer’s mobile via SMS, is the next step in our eTicketing strategy. This is an exciting step and following much planning and development, we plan to introduce this in 2007.”
The [email protected] trial was launched 27 July. The scheme is designed to emulate the operation of many modern airlines by allowing customers to print their tickets at home or work. These can then be validated by station staff and on-board Train Managers when travelling, cutting down on station queues and ultimately allowing people to travel with greater ease.