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SilverRail Hires Roxana Diaconescu as Chief Technology Officer

We are delighted to announce that Roxana Diaconescu has joined SilverRail as Chief Technology Officer. Roxana has deep engineering and commercial experience in the travel and technology sector, having worked in leadership positions at Uber, Expedia and most recently Facebook.

In this blog, we interview Roxana to get her thoughts on travel technology, what she has learnt so far in her career and the big opportunity she sees at SilverRail.

Welcome Roxana – what is your background?

I am a technology leader, with expertise in building and leading software engineering teams and products within a broad application domain, including travel, big data, personal transport and remote work products that improve communication and co-presence. I hold a PhD in Computer Science and completed a few postdoctoral fellowships in the areas of distributed computing, massively parallel computing, and run-time optimisation for scaling systems and applications.

What interests you about travel technology?

I am particularly mission-driven as I believe that technology is here to serve a higher purpose (than itself) and I, therefore, look at how the mission of a company or a domain resonates with me. To me, Expedia and Uber were both trying to democratise travel and personal transport (sharing economy) respectively, and that kind of mission really resonates with me. In the same way, I saw Cloudera as democratising access to Big Data and supporting Open Source so that smaller players have access to the same kind of tools and technologies that big companies do, thereby levelling the playing field.

What is the biggest lesson you have learnt in your business career?

As mentioned before, I believe that technology can have a significant positive socio-economic impact. When my personal values and work ethic are aligned with that, then my personal impact within the business tends to be the strongest. I’ve learnt that finding meaning in the work that I do is important not only for me but for the people and the teams that I lead. It acts as a powerful motivator and inspires people to be the best versions of themselves. That is really all that any business can hope for: that everyone does their absolute best.

Why did you join SilverRail?

In joining SilverRail, I hope to play a part in climate tech and the clean travel movement. SilverRail has deep expertise in building the foundations and standards that make train travel accessible online, as well as optimising door-to-door travel in an environmentally conscious manner. The rail industry has been lagging behind technology-wise and it is inspiring to me to see how far the company has come in tackling such a complex problem across the globe.

For a long time, the tech industry has been enamoured with solving problems of their own creation. I am humbled to put all my experience, expertise and willpower into playing a small part in solving a problem that deeply resonates with me, my children’s generation and which is possibly the most critical issue facing humanity.

To find out more about how SilverRail is changing the way people move by making rail easy for carriers, agencies and travellers, click here.

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knowledge

More Choice for Rail Customers as Convenience Stores to Sell TfW Tickets

SilverRail is delighted to announce its collaboration with Payzone and Transport for Wales (TfW) to deliver a first-of-its-kind retail solution to the high street.

The project has seen SilverRail and Payzone, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Post Office, develop a joint proposition that enables people in Wales to buy TfW rail tickets within several Payzone outlets.

This new initiative will ensure that rail retailing remains inclusive by allowing all types of travellers – from those who are confident with mobile ticketing to those who are less digitally adept – to book rail journeys using cash or through more modern payment methods.

Given 20% of tickets (pre-pandemic) were bought using cash, it’s vital that the industry maintains a semi-digital presence so that no customer is left behind by the digital revolution.

The service will make all rail tickets that are compatible with barcode e-tickets accessible as printed barcode tickets that can be used across the national rail network. These tickets are the same as those that can be purchased on mobile phones but work as printed tickets.

David O’Leary, TfW’s Commercial and Customer Experience Director, said:

“This is an exciting pilot that gives customers additional choices about how and where they purchase their rail tickets.  This is the very first time in the UK that rail customers will be able to buy their tickets in their local convenience store and it also gives customers the added choice of purchasing with cash, especially if their local station does not have a ticket office or only has a self-service machine that accepts cards only.” 

Head of Transport and Ticketing at Payzone, Noel Goulty, added: 

“This is truly a first for rail ticketing, bringing the retailing of rail tickets to the centre of Welsh communities. This strategic partnership with SilverRail will deliver a fully accredited system on behalf of Transport for Wales, which is exclusive to Payzone and allows passengers to buy rail tickets, whilst popping into their corner shop for some essentials! 

We are committed to innovating in this space to become the default high street network for cash ticketing. This is a genuinely exciting time for Transport for Wales and we are delighted to be part of the team delivering on their strategy.” 

David Pitt, SilverRail’s Head of UK, said:  

“We are very excited to deliver this pioneering retail solution alongside TfW and Payzone. Bringing rail tickets to the high street in this way will ensure nobody is left behind by the digital revolution and will provide convenience and a wider availability of tickets to the travelling public.  

We believe it’s very important that rail retailing remains inclusive by allowing all types of travellers – from those who are confident with mobile ticketing to those who are less digitally adept – to be able to book rail journeys using cash or through more modern payment methods.”


For media inquiries, please contact:

Frederic Kalinke, Marketing Director at SilverRail

e: marketing@silverrailtech.com


About SilverRail 

SilverRail delivers the retail engine for global rail. Its product suite spans the full passenger journey: trip planning, booking, payment, ticketing and aftersales. 

SilverRail: 

  • Handles more than 1 billion online rail searches each year 
  • Distributes tickets for more than 35 providers and carriers 
  • Processes more than 30 million bookings each year 
  • Serves more than 1,500 corporate customers worldwide 

SilverRail was founded in 2009 and has offices in London, Boston, Stockholm and Brisbane.


About Transport for Wales

Transport for Wales (TfW) oversees public transport in Wales and its mission is to drive forward the Welsh Government’s vision of a high-quality, safe, integrated, affordable, and accessible transport network that the people of Wales are proud of.