FirstGroup on track to improve train information with system integrator IPL

Rail operator FirstGroup – which owns First Great Western – announces a plan to improve how it provides information to passengers

Rail operator FirstGroup – whose companies include First Great Western – has announced a five-year plan to improve how it provides information to passengers.

Bath-based systems integrator (SI) IPL, which specialises in information management projects – such as Nationwide’s online bank and smartphone apps – will work with FirstGroup on the five-year programme.

Early projects in the programme will include mobile services.

IPL has a track record with FirstGroup. The SI developed an operational alerts application, dubbed Mavis, which provides up-to-date information on train operations to staff and customers.

The agreement between the train company operating group and IPL will, said the two parties, “develop ways to improve the customer experience”. FirstGroup’s companies include First TransPennine Express, as well as First Great Western.

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Drawing together travel information

Duncan Waugh, head of rail information systems at FirstGroup, said: “Up-to-the-minute information in the hands of staff and customers is key to the successful running of today’s railway, and IPL will help us enhance the way we do this by using technology in intelligent ways. A targeted investment in this area can deliver transformative results.

“By investing in innovative ways to draw together information and present it to the right people, passengers using current and future FirstGroup trains and stations will notice a real difference, before, during and after their journeys.”

Andy Cox, Innovation and Solutions Director at IPL, added: “We’re excited to be working with FirstGroup to create some truly cutting-edge systems. We’ll be taking them on the next steps of their digital journey, finding new ways to use information to improve the passenger experience.

“We draw on our long experience of creating first-class, award-winning digital information systems, which include Nationwide’s online bank and smartphone apps, as well as UCAS’s cloud-based Track service.”

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