The government has revealed a plan that could see the UK’s train passengers to benefit from a dramatic improvement in onboard mobile and Wi-Fi connections. The rapid growth of mobile data requirements and the use of smartphones and tablets now means that consumers expect high quality, reliable connectivity everywhere.
The Amadeus Rail Innovation Forum is a unique and popular event for rail operators, travel agencies and technology partners worldwide, with Breaking Travel News editor Chris O’Toole here visiting to gauge the mood of the sector in 2017.
Leading train company CrossCountry, part of transport group Arriva, has extended availability of ‘Advance on the Day’ tickets to corporate travellers using the EvolviNG self-booking platform. The ‘Advance on the Day’ initiative has seen CrossCountry introduce across all its routes the opportunity for passengers to buy discounted ‘Advance’ tickets within just 15 minutes of their train leaving the station – enabling travellers to make the most of last minute bookings, while still reserving a seat.
Collecting multiple paper train tickets for your travels can now be a thing of the past, as Trainline announces that rail travellers in Norwich can use a smartphone based digital ticketing system, mTicketing when travelling by train. Both advance and on-the-day rail tickets are now available for travellers to purchase and download as a mobile ticket via the Trainline App.
Rail passengers will benefit from free wi-fi on trains across England and Wales from 2017, UK rail minister Claire Perry has announced. Train operators are being asked to set how they will meet the commitment to provide this important service for passengers. All train operators bidding for new franchises and direct award agreements will have to include this specification in their bid.
Corporate clients of travel management companies using the EvolviNG online rail booking platform paid less on average for rail journeys in 2014 than the previous year. Analysis by Evolvi Rail Systems shows that its one million registered users of the system paid £58.73 as an average ticket value in the last 12 month, compared to £59.03 in 2013.
Global investment firm KKR has acquired Trainline, the UK’s leading online platform for selling rail tickets to both consumers and businesses. Trainline has 4.7 million active customers, 20.8 million visits per month and operates platforms for both consumers and businesses. Trainline is licensed to sell rail tickets on behalf of all UK train operating companies, Deutsche Bahn and Trenitalia.
European railways are often portrayed as a deeply conservative industry, so far unaffected by the disruptive competition and subsequent consolidation seen in the aviation sector. With national providers apparently safe in domestic markets there seems to be little catalyst for change. But with technology developing rapidly and start-ups taking advantage of European Union liberalisation to launch new routes the old model may well be about to break down. Breaking Travel News editor Chris O’Toole reports from the Amadeus Rail Forum 2014.
Barclaycard Commercial has launched a web-based rail travel booking tool which allows businesses and their employees to pay for train travel using a single-use virtual card. The new tool – developed in conjunction with MyTrainTicket for Business – consolidates rail spend across the business, giving companies greater visibility and control over their travel expenditure, benefitting from the savings that brings.