Could new collaboration make UK's trains more reliable?
Train companies are set to provide tech firms with more real-time information to speed up the development of intelligent travel apps for the future.
Rail minister Jo Johnson and Rail Delivery Group chief executive Paul Plummer claim the move could revolutionise rail travel in the UK.
The new plans involve rail and tech firms working closer to create more seamless, hassle-free journeys and better information for passengers on services and delays, as well as seats and on-board facilities.
Better use of data could also allow rail companies to plan more effectively and to predict and fix issues before they arise, creating a more reliable railway.
Jo Johnson said: "This will speed the development of travel apps that provide passengers with helpful information about their journeys."
Building on information that the industry has already made available, data will be released over the coming months to provide more consistent and timely information about train services, delays and disruption.
Information will also be made available on the carriages that make up each train, allowing operators to more accurately communicate on-board facilities, and to help passengers plan ahead and board in the most convenient place.
The plan will also involve removing barriers to better information sharing by improving standardisation of how data is collected, stored and published, and improving clarity over which data is commercially sensitive and what data can be used for what purposes.
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The government and rail industry will also explore what incentives could be introduced to drive further innovation and data sharing, on top of that already planned.
Plummer added: "Digital technology in rail already means more timely information and less time spent waiting, helping to put customers in charge, and as part of the rail industry’s plan to change and improve we want to use technology to give customers more and more control."