Chiltern Railways partners with Aston University to improve customer experience during rail disruption

Published on : Thursday, April 21, 2016

chiltern railwaysChiltern Railways has partnered with Aston University to improve information during rail disruption developing a simulation system for staff which will speed recovery and improve communication.

 

Disruption is sometimes inevitable due to external incidents such as technical failures and extreme weather. However, communication and sharing of information between staff and passengers can help to reduce the impact of delays; this will then improve travellers’ journeys by clearly informing their decisions on whether to travel and how.

 

The project is part funded by RSSB’s Train Operator Challenge 15 (TOC’15) competition and follows work undertaken by Chiltern Railways and Aston University during 2015 that demonstrated the critical value of information for passengers during disruption. Chiltern’s parent company Arriva has supported the project with a view to rolling out the approach to other franchises.

 

Dave Penney, Managing Director of Chiltern Railways said of the project: “The work is a demonstration of our commitment to provide customers with the best travel experience possible. We recognise that travel disruption can be stressful so it is vital that our staff have the skills to give our passengers timely, accurate and clear information whatever the situation. This work is incredibly important as it will allow staff to test themselves in a variety of situations both familiar and unfamiliar.”

 

Professor Ben Clegg, Professor of Operations Management, Aston University, commented: “We are delighted to be working with Chiltern Railways as it gives us a first-hand insight into the rail industry and provides us with a complex challenge. Here at Aston, we are always keen to engage with businesses from all sectors and apply our expertise to real-life situations, helping to solve even the toughest challenges that they face.”

 

Neil Webster, RSSB Future Railway Programme Director: “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 Aston Universities combines the knowledge, expertise and experience from two different parts of the industry and we are looking forward to seeing the results of the project as it gets going.”

 

Transport Focus reports identify that three of the top twelve critical success factors for passengers during disruption relate directly to how information was managed.

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