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knowledge

Helping Grand Central prepare for the domestic tourism boom

As lockdown lifts, Grand Central, a long-distance rail operator, which links London Kings Cross with Yorkshire and the North East, has launched a key initiative, supported by SilverRail’s technology, that will help it prepare for the predicted boom in domestic tourism.

In a first for UK rail, Grand Central is now offering their passengers the ability to book tickets up to six months in advance.

Following a survey with its customers, Grand Central identified that extending the booking horizon was a high priority for passengers as it gave them added flexibility in their journey planning. We’re therefore delighted to have helped them launch such critical functionality in a short space of time.

As Louise Blyth, Commercial and Customer Policy Director comments ‘“While our trains were in hibernation we used that time to engage with our passengers and communities and this is one of the things they told us they wanted – the flexibility to plan and book their journeys well ahead and benefit from our great value discounted fares. That opportunity is now available through the Grand Central website and telesales service.

“As the country gradually comes out of lockdown over the coming months it feels really good that we’re the only train operator currently providing the means for people to make their plans to meet up with friends and loved ones right through the summer and into the autumn.

SilverRail is also delivering other features that help rail carriers improve the passenger experience, such as seat selectors with social distancing enabled; load capacity indicators to ease traveller anxiety; and a Timetable Advisory Service that helps keep customers up to date with service information from the moment they book to the point of travel.

There has been a lot of demand for products and services that support the customer as they plan, book and return to the railway. The initiatives that SilverRail is supporting TOCs and the wider travel industry with will ensure that customers have the confidence to book rail and enjoy an enhanced level of service, particularly around timely, relevant information.

Stuart McLay, Commercial Account Manager at SilverRail

For more information on our work with Grand Central, click here.

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knowledge

SilverRail is now an accredited flexible employer

We are excited to announce we have been officially accredited as a truly flexible place to work.

We strongly believe in empowering our team to work in a way that allows them to do what they do best in the environment that drives them to success! Whether that be a hybrid WFH/WFO model, or even working from anywhere for a period of time.

With our human first approach, life comes first, and we see flexibility as not a “one size fits all model” but a need for “flexibility” around our flexibility.

Here’s what our employees have to say:

“I have no wish list, I feel empowered by SilverRail to manage my time around work and family. If I wasn’t working for SilverRail today, I have to say that I believe I would have struggled for the same support based on some previous employee experiences.”

Thank you Flexa for recognising us with this great achievement.

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knowledge

Trains to power a green freight revolution 

Over the past year, SilverRail Technologies has run a project funded by Vinnova, the Swedish innovation agency, to investigate whether spare capacity on passenger trains can be used as a green alternative for transporting the ever-rising number of e-commerce packages. The pilot project is now complete and the final report has been submitted.

With the world facing the Coronavirus pandemic, SilverRail, together with Snälltåget (a Swedish train operator), and Airmee (a delivery company), started a project last year to investigate the possibility of using passenger rail from Stockholm to Malmö to move smaller freight packages. The goal was to find green alternatives that would be flexible enough to suit the requirements of e-commerce, whilst at the same time offering new revenue streams for train operators.

The project, which was part-financed by Vinnova, a government agency that administers funding for research and development, is now complete and it’s clear that there is strong market interest in using train freight as an alternative for transporting goods over medium to long distances.

There is strong demand from both e-commerce and logistics companies and there is sufficient freight volume and spare capacity on trains to create a sustainable business model.

It has been an incredibly exciting project and the interest from the market has been great. The pilot is an example of how it’s possible to respond creatively to the changes that the pandemic has brought to the travel and transport industries

Maria Perman Business Developer at SilverRail Technologies

By combining freight with passenger train traffic, especially on night trains, rail operators can generate additional income, whilst providing positive effects for passengers in the form of more frequent trains. The project has demonstrated that there is an opportunity to take the pilot further and develop a service that creates a more dynamic train freight solution than the one that exists today

Evelin Skeppström, Director Product Management at SilverRail

As the market today is fragmented and train freight requires a multimodal solution to transport goods from a central warehouse to the end customer, a well-established delivery partner is required to expand the solution to other regions. As a result, SilverRail has started discussions with a freight broker to explore next steps.

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knowledge

SJs nya biljettsystem kan äventyra marknaden för mindre aktörer

2009 togs beslutet att avreglera svensk järnväg och den anses idag vare en av världens mest avreglerade järnvägar.

SilverRail har en lång historia av att samarbeta med SJ och andra operatörer inom tåg och kollektivtrafik. Tillsammans gör vi det möjligt för resenärer att resa och köpa sina biljetter på ett smidigt och enkelt sätt med över 40 operatörer och flera olika trafikslag. Produkten ResPlus, som erbjuds av Samtrafiken, är ett utmärkt exempel på hur samarbetet mellan i stort sett samtliga aktörer på marknaden skapar resenärsnytta genom möjligheten att kombinera resor med nationella och regionala tåg- och bussoperatörer.

SilverRails tekniska plattform aggregerar det reseutbud som marknaden erbjuder och möjliggör att detta kan säljas vidare av både operatörerna själva och resebyråer.

2019 inledde SJ en upphandling för ett nytt bokningssystem. Möjlighet att fortsatt kunna erbjuda kombinerat resande mellan olika operatörer var en del av de ursprungliga kraven i deras anbudsförfrågan.

SilverRail Technologies AB vann inte upphandlingen. Vi anser att den valda leverantören inte erbjöd möjligheten att tillhandahålla kombinerat resande på det sätt som efterfrågades i anbudsförfrågan och att detta riskerar att innebära restriktioner i reseutbudet som SJ tillhandahåller. Något som inte bara påverkar resenärens valmöjlighet utan också kan bidra till minskade incitament att välja tåget. Därför valde vi att överklaga upphandlingen utan framgång.

Vi respekterar beslutet att upphandlingen genomfördes korrekt, men vill poängtera att vi ser en risk för en mer fragmenterad marknad där utbudet inte längre blir lika lättåtkomligt för svenska resenärer.

25 % av de resor som säljs idag säljs som kombinationsresor. SJ är den ledande aktören och sj.se är ett naturligt förstaval för resenärer som vill köpa tågbiljetter.

För att främja en öppen marknad, och resenärens valfrihet, blir det viktigt att säkerställa att även mindre spelare får en rättvis chans att erbjuda sitt utbud i kombination med andra operatörers.

SilverRail ser fram mot att samarbeta med hela branschen för att säkra att den svenska tågmarknaden även i fortsättningen förblir öppen och lättillgänglig för både operatörer och resenärer.

Contacts

Monica Öberg, MD SilverRail Technologies AB
monica.oberg@silverrailtech.com

+46 72 0711 858

Yvonne Dahlberg, Press officer SilverRail Technologies AB
yvonne.dahlberg@silverrailtech.com
+46 76 8991 684

Categories
knowledge

SJ’s future platform could create friction for operators & travellers

In 2009, the decision was made to deregulate Swedish railways and it is now considered one of the world’s most deregulated railway markets.

SilverRail has a long history of working with SJ and other Swedish transport organisations to enable travellers to both buy tickets and travel seamlessly across over 40 different operators and several modes of transport. The ResPlus product, provided by Samtrafiken, is a perfect example of collaboration between all providers, combining national carriers and municipal rail and bus networks.

SilverRail’s technology for the railway industry aggregates the full market content and makes it available to all transport operators to sell themselves and to travel agencies.

In 2019 SJ initiated a procurement process for a backend sales and inventory solution. The ability to combine travel from different transport providers was part of their original tender request.

SilverRail Technologies AB was not selected, and it is our understanding that the new technology provider did not offer the ability to provide functionality for combined travelling in their bid. The scope of SJ’s future retail offering may therefore be restricted to the distribution of SJ’s products only, thereby limiting traveller choice. SilverRail AB appealed the decision but was unsuccessful.

Whilst SilverRail accepts the court’s decision that the procurement was carried out correctly, we are concerned this will leave the Swedish transport market fragmented and less accessible for the travelling public.

Currently, 25% of public transport journeys are sold in combination, meaning two or more operators are involved in taking the traveler from A to B. Given SJ is the national rail carrier, its website (sj.se) is the main entry point for travelers wanting to plan and book journeys in Sweden.

In the spirit of market openness and traveller choice, we believe that smaller operators should be given every opportunity in the Swedish market to offer their journeys in combination with other operators.

SilverRail looks forward to working together with the entire industry to ensure the Swedish transportation market remains open and accessible for all operators and all travellers.

Contacts

Monica Öberg, MD SilverRail Technologies AB
monica.oberg@silverrailtech.com

+46 72 0711 858

Yvonne Dahlberg, Press officer SilverRail Technologies AB
yvonne.dahlberg@silverrailtech.com

+46 76 8991 684