Arriva UK Trains has announced a partnership with Enable ID for an innovative trial on Chiltern Railways’ London to Birmingham trains. The initiative is set to transform the travel experiences of thousands of passengers by equipping trains with sensors able to communicate a range of useful information to the customer as they travel to the station and while on board.

The sensors will indicate, in real time, the location of available seats, the current temperature in each carriage and, where relevant, the onboard catering status along with real time train running information.

The enabled carriages will deliver uniquely personalised travel updates, improving accessibility based on individuals’ circumstances. For example:

“You plan to board the Chiltern Railways 0655 from Birmingham Moor Street to London Marylebone. This train is expected to depart on time from Platform 4 and seating is currently available in the rear carriage of this train.”

“The temperature in your carriage is a pleasant 20°c. Click here to view details for the rest of the train.” sent to passengers that have boarded on a hot day and have more than 2 stops to go.

The sensor data will be part of the ‘MyJrny’ platform, a new intelligent mobility system linking transport operators with customers via the apps they use to get around. The new data-driven service is due to launch early next year. This pilot project is match funded by the Rail Safety and Standards Board’s (RSSB) Train Operator Challenge 15 (TOC’15) competition and Chiltern’s parent company Arriva has fully supported the project with a view to potentially rolling out the approach to other franchises if successful.

Kevin Ives, Digital Transformation Director for Arriva Trains said
“This pilot project seeks to test how we can transform and personalise passenger journeys and supports our ongoing commitment to provide the very best digital train experience for our passengers. The innovation allows customers to arrive for their train better informed and able to make better use of their time both at the station and on-board.”

Chris Thompson of Enable iD claims the pilot will add an industry-defining element to the MyJrny platform
“We are enabling personalised real-time travel forecasts containing information for all modes of transport to be delivered by operators, whilst preserving their customers’ privacy. By using ‘in-transit’ sensors in this way Arriva and Chiltern Railways are leading the public transport sector.

Neil Webster, Innovation Programme Director, RSSB:
“The TOC15 competition aimed to encourage the industry to work in collaboration on projects which had the potential to deliver mutual benefit and improve the experience of passengers. This partnership between Chiltern Railways and Enable id combines the knowledge, expertise and experience from two innovative transport players and we are looking forward to seeing the results of the project as it gets going.”

Enable iD are the Midlands based architects of MyJrny, which is part of Innovation Birmingham’s new ‘Serendip’ Smart City Incubator programme, backed by regional public transport body, Centro, and the central government sponsored Transport Systems Catapult.