Fare and timetable information will soon be a press of a button away for mobile train staff, after the Association of Train Operating Companies (Atoc) agreed a deal with IT services firm Sema Group to replace Atoc's reference books with portable PCs.
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The Microsoft Windows-powered Pocket PCs, which will be available to all mobile staff such as train conductors, will eventually contain all timetables and fares for the UK rail network - information that was previously distributed in seven 12,000-page manuals.
Bernard Dunn, chairman of the Rail Settlement Plan, said, "Passengers will have on-train access to fare and timetable information that is both accurate and up to date."
An Atoc spokesman said the Pocket PCs will be made available in March 2001, when individual train operators, such as Virgin and Connex South East, will be able to decide whether to purchase them.