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Sneak preview of the scope for Innovate UK’s £6 million Enhancing Customer Experience in Rail Travel competition - be ready for Monday's launch event

Ahead of the competition launch on Monday in Coventry, Innovate UK has released the scope document for the Enhancing Customer Experience in Rail Travel competition, that with the involvement of FutureRailway and RSSB, will result in investments totalling to £6m to support innovations in digital technologies that improve the customer experience in UK and international rail markets.

KTN is hosting a consortium-building event for potential applicants - to be held in combination with the briefing in Coventry next Monday 2 March 2015, that includes speakers lined-up from Innovate UK, Network Rail, Passenger Focus, FutureRailway, London Underground, and more.

This is where you, our creative and problem solving rail community can come in - as after lunch we host the Consortia Building session, the opportunity for company presenters to rise to the challenge of the “two minute pitch”, to offer expertise for potential project collaborations, and possible funding in the competition.

There’s still time to Register via the event page.



In December 2012, the cross-industry TSLG published an updated Rail Technical Strategy, a 30-year vision of the technology requirements of the industry.

The FutureRailway programme, a collaboration between Network Rail and the rail industry body RSSB, is delivering the strategy, which includes as one its prioritises improvements in the use of data and information, and its translation into systems and services that reduce cost, improve operations and benefit customers.

This competition aims to help overcome some of the barriers to entry into the rail industry, and foster collaboration and trust between rail industry clients and digital businesses, many of whom are of small or medium size.

Digital technology presents business opportunities for services across a global rail market worth around £150 billion a year. So Innovate UK is looking to support successful consortia in developing products and services for the rail industry in the UK that also have international export potential.



Proposals should demonstrate how they would help deal with specific challenges and contribute to programmes developed by the rail industry, which are:.

  • Freight customer - Increase opportunity, capacity and ease of use for freight customers; working with freight operators to find innovative ways to move a larger range of freight more swiftly using national and international services.
  • Passenger: end-to-end journey - Continue to evolve and deliver seamless and continuous passenger journeys from point to point, where a rail journey may (or may not) be considered as part of a travel plan. Liaise with other developers to assist with integration of rail travel into travel planning options for other modes of transport.
  • Customer research: social and emotional profiling - Explore human factors in reducing the stress and increasing the pleasure of travelling by rail.
  • Passenger: rail journey - Improve the railway passenger’s journey experience; ease of purchase, reduce stress throughout the journey, and provide passengers with increased comfort and facilities.
  • The train journey: use of time - Time is increasingly valuable, and time spent travelling can have economic and social benefit.
  • Passenger facilities and engagement - Continue to improve station facilities and access. Ensure robust and timely information services, especially associated with incidents and disruption. Invest in engaging passengers and obtaining feedback useful in making timely adjustments to services offered.
  • Friendly big brother(a railway customer database) - Providing a universal railway customer database, and associated information and intelligence collection, security, storage and exploitation to benefit the customer and railway alike.
  • Real-time information - Real-time information service to railway customers providing information and intelligence during planned and unplanned events.
  • Cycling/access to railway stations - Improve the facilities, access and capacity at stations for cyclists and develop the overall attractiveness of the railway to commuting and leisure cyclists.
  • Station of the future - Transformation of railway station design and maintenance to meet and exceed expectations of staff, customer and general public.


Leveraging your attendence

We will further promote the consortia building and networking activities after the event; including hosting the presentation slides on this website, plus we have lined up video coverage, for re-packaging for post-event coverage and sharing online.


Related articles:

Customer Experience in Rail Travel - a primer for the opportunities to be revealed at Monday's consortia building event

Consortia building for Innovate UK’s forthcoming third Accelerating Innovation in Rail competition on Enabling the Digital Customer

Event Page: Enhancing Customer Experience in Rail Travel

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