Whoosh and GWR collaborate to bring real-time train service information to UK business travellers

Great Western Railway (GWR) has embarked on an innovative venture by partnering with rail tech developer Whoosh to trial new software that provides real-time train service information to passengers.

This groundbreaking digital platform aims to enhance passenger communication, improve customer satisfaction, and offer cost-saving opportunities for train operating companies.

Digital platform: information and onward journey planning

The trial, which started in May, is scheduled to run for four months on three trains and at Patchway and Newton Abbot stations.

Through the partnership with Whoosh, GWR is offering customers the convenience of accessing real-time journey information. By scanning bespoke station and at-seat QR codes, passengers can effortlessly unlock relevant travel details. This includes real-time updates on the train they are on, as well as rail and travel information for every station in the country.

The digital platform serves as a one-stop hub for station information, onward journey planning, and even provides Welsh language options.

Whoosh’s innovative software also introduces a recently patented feature called ‘Tell Us,’ which enables passengers and onboard staff to report faults in a contextualised manner. This interactive functionality empowers travellers to provide valuable feedback, contributing to improved services and customer satisfaction.

King’s Award: Whoosh won the King’s Award for Innovation in the Enterprise Category 2023

Whoosh has already established several successful journey information services for various UK transport operators. The company previously partnered with Network Rail to deliver personalised information across the country’s largest stations.

With the GWR trial, Whoosh is expanding its services to a multilingual version of the real-time journey platform, further showcasing the cost-saving benefits for train operating companies while enhancing passenger communication and satisfaction.

Edmund Caldecott, the founder and CEO of Whoosh, expresses enthusiasm for the trial, emphasising the potential cost-saving opportunities for TOCs while improving customer communication and satisfaction.

We’re incredibly excited for our trial with Great Western Railway, not least because it is our first multilingual version of the real-time journey platform. It allows us to demonstrate the cost-saving opportunities for train operating companies while improving passenger communication – and therefore customer satisfaction – too.

Stations without customer information screens are typically unmanaged too, so now customers can simply scan the QR code and get all the information they need, and more besides, at a fraction of the cost to the operator.

GWR Development Manager Mike Preece shares the sentiment, stating that the collaboration with Whoosh during the trial period will enhance communication with passengers across the network. He said,

We are pleased to collaborate with Whoosh during this trial period and look forward to seeing how travel technology can enhance communication with passengers across our network, helping to keep them informed and engaged throughout their journey. We are also excited to see how this trial could lead to innovative revenue opportunities and, most importantly, improved services for our passengers.

Great Western Railway’s partnership with Whoosh to trial their real-time journey information software marks an exciting development in enhancing the travel experience for UK-based business travellers. By providing passengers with immediate access to real-time journey updates and comprehensive travel information, GWR aims to improve passenger communication, customer satisfaction and overall service quality.

As the trial progresses, the innovative digital platform holds the potential to revolutionise the way information is shared and accessed within the rail industry, ultimately benefiting both passengers and train operating companies alike.