East Coast Mainline to give passengers real-time train information via Wi-Fi

By Nicola Brittain
26 Sep 2011 View Comments
Commuters at London Liverpool Street station

The East Coast MainLine rail service is planning to make a Wi-Fi information portal available to customers from November this year.

The system will inform passengers of likely delays to their journey via a landing page when they access Wi-Fi on board a train.

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The service will be enabled by combining an XML feed from the National Rail Enquiries database detailing track problems and delays, with an XML feed from the company's in-house Genius database, provided by Atos Origin, which contains information regarding the position of specific trains on the line.

The two feeds will be packaged by Swedish communications service provider Icomera and delivered to any connected device in use on the train.

David Wilson, service desk manager, East Coast Mainline, said: "The internal communications system provided by Icomera allows us to get communications to and from a train, as well as provide GPS location. We can treat each train as a LAN with virtual private network connectivity."

Wilson explained that the East Coast Mainline was in a better position to provide this service that its competitors: "Many rail lines have outsourced their Genius data management but we haven't, meaning we can get access to that data and feed it out to XML and modify as we need to."

The company plans to make the real-time information available via on-board electronic posters some time next year.

The project took five months to co-ordinate and has been succesfully trialled twice.

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