Chiltern Railways

Chiltern Railways to tell passengers where to find a seat while en-route to their station in web based innovative passenger information system

Published: 15th July 2016

Campaign announced for major rail upgrade in North Wales and Deeside

Chiltern Railways has operated its franchise since rail privatisation and has transformed the former Great Western Railway route between London and Birmingham in that time creating a real challenge to Virgin and London Midland on the West Coast Main Line. They have also re-opened the line between Bicester and Oxford Parkway, and next month will begin training to reach the centre of Oxford linking with cross-country and Great western services.

They have just announced two further initiatives, a £400,000 investment to improve passenger safety and help detect and deter crime using upgraded and enhanced station CCTV coverage. An additional 136 cameras have been installed bringing the total to over 800 on their network.

The train company will carry out a more proactive monitoring of the network offering higher assurance and enhanced public safety and greater security of public property including cycles at their stations. Staff will also benefit from the enhanced security via the increased monitoring which can also be used for safety related incidents. Chiltern will use the upgraded systems to provide criminal evidence when required.

They said: Customer Services Director Jenny Payne said:

“Ensuring our passengers and staff are safe is key as we strive to deliver a first-class railway. This investment ensures that stations on our route benefit from the latest surveillance technology.”

Internet based system to assist Chiltern’s passengers choose a seat while on the way to a station

A technology trial will commence in some carriages on Chiltern Railways which just might radically change passengers’ journeys between Marylebone and Birmingham Snow Hill. Some carriages will be ‘enabled’ with smart technology which will be able to transmit to waiting passengers which carriage has empty seats and what temperature the inside of the carriage is.

Arriva UK Trains, which owns Chiltern Railways has announced a partnership with Enable ID for this trial by equipping carriages with sensors that will send real-time information to waiting passengers while they travel to the station and are waiting on a platform for their train.

Sensors will record in real time which seats are available and the temperature in each carriage and if available, the onboard catering status as well as real time train running information. The carriages will be able to send a message to passengers telling them where to get a seat, For example:

“You plan to board the Chiltern Railways 0655 from Birmingham Moor Street to London Marylebone. This train is expected to depart on time from Platform 4 and seating is currently available in the rear carriage of this train.”

“The temperature in your carriage is a pleasant 20°c. Click here to view details for the rest of the train.” sent to passengers that have boarded on a hot day and have more than 2 stops to go.

The scheme is part of the ‘MyJrny’ platform, a new intelligent mobility system linking transport operators with customers via the apps they use to get around and will be launched in around six months.

They said:

Customer Services Director Jenny Payne said:

“Ensuring our passengers and staff are safe is key as we strive to deliver a first-class railway. This investment ensures that stations on our route benefit from the latest surveillance technology.”

Internet based system to assist Chiltern’s passengers choose a seat while on the way to a station

A technology trial will commence in some carriages on Chiltern Railways which just might radically change passengers’ journeys between Marylebone and Birmingham Snow Hill. Some carriages will be ‘enabled’ with smart technology which will be able to transmit to waiting passengers which carriage has empty seats and what temperature the inside of the carriage is.

Arriva UK Trains, which owns Chiltern Railways has announced a partnership with Enable ID for this trial by equipping carriages with sensors that will send real-time information to waiting passengers while they travel to the station and are waiting on a platform for their train.

Sensors will record in real time which seats are available and the temperature in each carriage and if available, the onboard catering status as well as real time train running information. The carriages will be able to send a message to passengers telling them where to get a seat, For example:

“You plan to board the Chiltern Railways 0655 from Birmingham Moor Street to London Marylebone. This train is expected to depart on time from Platform 4 and seating is currently available in the rear carriage of this train.”

“The temperature in your carriage is a pleasant 20°c. Click here to view details for the rest of the train.” sent to passengers that have boarded on a hot day and have more than 2 stops to go.

The scheme is part of the ‘MyJrny’ platform, a new intelligent mobility system linking transport operators with customers via the apps they use to get around and will be launched in around six months.

If successful, the pilot scheme, match funded by Rail Safety and Standards Board’s (RSSB) via their ‘Train Operator Challenge 15’ competition and Arriva, will be rolled out to other franchises.

They said:

Kevin Ives, Digital Transformation Director for Arriva Trains said “This pilot project seeks to test how we can transform and personalise passenger journeys and supports our ongoing commitment to provide the very best digital train experience for our passengers. The innovation allows customers to arrive for their train better informed and able to make better use of their time both at the station and on-board.”

Chris Thompson of Enable iD claims the pilot will add an industry-defining element to the MyJrny platform “We are enabling personalised real-time travel forecasts containing information for all modes of transport to be delivered by operators, whilst preserving their customers’ privacy. By using ‘in-transit’ sensors in this way Arriva and Chiltern Railways are leading the public transport sector.”

Neil Webster, Innovation Programme Director, RSSB: “The TOC15 competition aimed to encourage the industry to work in collaboration on projects which had the potential to deliver mutual benefit and improve the experience of passengers. This partnership between Chiltern Railways and Enable id combines the knowledge, expertise and experience from two innovative transport players and we are looking forward to seeing the results of the project as it gets going.”

£1 Billion rail vision to create 70,000 jobs?

Growth track 360 is a campaign launched in an attempt to secure £1bn of rail improvements which might transform the North Wales and Cheshire regional economy creating 70,000 new jobs over 20 years. The idea is being led by a cross-border alliance of business, political and public sector leaders and is aimed to link North Wales, Cheshire and Wirral areas with HS2.

What does the campaign hope to achieve?

Electrification between Crewe and Holyhead providing a seamless link with HS2 and doubling the train frequency between the North Wales Coast and Wrexham to Manchester through Chester using new, modern, better equipped rolling stock.

Introducing new services between Liverpool and Liverpool Airport to North Wales and Wrexham via Chester (Halton Curve) and doubling journey frequency between Wrexham and Liverpool via Deeside and Bidston. Other suggestions are to increase line speed and upgrade the signalling.

The campaign is backed by the North Wales and Mersey Dee Rail Task Force and supported by the region’s eight local authorities, the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, the Mersey Dee Alliance, the North Wales Economic Ambition Board, the North Wales Business Council and the West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce. Research suggests if all this goes ahead, an estimated 70,000 new jobs across the North Wales and Mersey Dee region could result.

They said;

Cllr Dilwyn Roberts, Leader of Conwy County Borough Council, said: “Our vision is for a smart, modern and integrated public transport system which can help us unlock the region’s full economic potential, ensuring we can fulfil our status as an integral part of the Norther Powerhouse and help to address the imbalance in the UK economy.”

The Welsh Government’s Economy and Infrastructure Secretary, Ken Skates, said: “I welcome this report from the Rail Task Force. Rail services are a key component of our transport modernisation programme across Wales. Our vision is for a faster, more frequent, integrated transport service which places the needs of the passenger at its heart.

Connecting people to jobs and businesses to growth opportunities is a must if the economy of North Wales is to continue to grow and reach its undoubted potential. The Growth Track 360 proposals sets out a vision for rail in the region that unlocks the economic potential on both sides of the border.”

The campaign will also be lobbying senior rail industry figures to make the case for the investment and said; “We are clearly pushing for a substantial and complex investment, so at this point our ask of Government is to commit to sufficient funding to establish a rail industry group to support our task force in commissioning feasibility work on the project so that a robust and detailed investment case can be made.

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