• Team of 40 hackers to travel on South West Trains services over the weekend
  • Part of the HackTrain initiative, a 48 hour event involving some of the world’s most skilled computer programmers, designers and entrepreneurs

Some of the world’s most skilled computer programmers, designers and entrepreneurs will be joining South West Trains this evening (20 November) on a journey from London Waterloo to Bournemouth.

South West Trains, part of the Stagecoach Group, is helping to support this year’s HackTrain, a 48-hour event involving a team of 120 ‘hackers’ travelling up and down the country working on solutions for a range of challenges faced by the rail industry. Each transport partner has had an opportnity to set the hackers a challenge, and South West Trains has tasked the team with coming up with an innovative solution to managing the location of train crew during times of disruption, whilst helping to return to the normal timetable as quickly as possible following major disruption.

The HackTrain event will begin at London St Pancras with a welcome from Andrew Jones, the Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Transport. The hackers will be split into three teams, and each will be given a unique challenge to address. The teams will then join one of three HackTrains travelling out of London Waterloo, Paddington and King’s Cross stations.

The team of hackers travelling on South West Trains will be briefed at London Waterloo before travelling on an evening train from Waterloo to Bournemouth. During the 1 hour 50 minute journey, the hackers will start to design and develop mobile apps, software and hardware solutions.

They will continue with the challenge throughout Saturday on South West Trains’ services between Bournemouth and Southampton and Southampton to Waterloo before making their way to York on Sunday 22 November to present their solutions to rail industry executives at the National Railway Museum.

Stagecoach and Virgin were part of a small number of rail operators sponsoring the HackTrain Event event earlier this year. Along with sister company, Virgin Trains East Coast, South West Trains is one of the transport sponsors for this event and will carry the team of hackers around the UK as they race against time to come up with the best idea.

James Vickers, Commercial & Business Development Director for South West Trains, said: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming the team of hackers onto our trains this weekend and we’re hoping that they come up with some useable unique and innovative solutions to issues faced by the rail industry.

“As part of the international transport group Stagecoach, we have a good reputation for coming up with innovative solutions and we’re therefore pleased to be playing a part in this exciting initiative that will hopefully deliver new ideas to benefit our customers.”

For more information about the HackTrain, visit HackTrain.com, or follow #hacktherails and @TheHackTrain. For more information on South West Trains, visit southwesttrains.co.uk