SmartRail World

Ridership growth targeted as Wi-Fi launched on NC’s Piedmont Corridor.

"We believe by deploying new Wi-Fi services we can increase passenger satisfaction and attract new customers.”

Passengers travelling between Raleigh and Charlotte in North Carolina will now enjoy free Wi-Fi enabling them to stay connected during the 174 mile journey. Announced on the 20th anniversary of the service, it is part of the modernization programme of the Piedmont corridor through a series of projects and enhancements known as the Piedmont Improvement Program. The focus of PIP is to make train travel safer, more reliable and better connected. The addition of complimentary Wi-Fi as a standard service on Piedmont trains aims to enhance the overall quality of experience for passengers, potentially increase ridership due to the availability of Wi-Fi and provide extra layers of railway safety in the future by supporting train control and monitoring systems.

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Early risers in Singapore to continue to gain free travel pre-7.45am.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) in Singapore is extending its Free Pre-Peak Travel on the rail network by another year to 30 June 2016. Commuters who end their journey before 7.45am on weekdays at 18 designated MRT stations in the city area will continue to enjoy free travel on the rail network. Commuters who exit at these stations between 7.45am and 8am will also continue to enjoy a discount of up to 50 cents off their train fare. The initiative launched in June 2013, as part of the Singapore Government’s effort to try to alleviate the morning peak hour crowding situation on trains has delivered a sustained reduction of 7-8% in commuter numbers during the morning peak period. The ratio of morning peak (8am to 9am) to pre-peak (7am to 8am) travel (based on commuters exiting from the designated stations) has fallen from 2.7 and stabilised at 2.1, resulting in a more evenly distributed morning rail ridership.

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Editorial Preview: The Aviation & Transport Innovation Summit 2015.

Today SmartRail World brings you a free guest invitation to attend a unique event for railway professionals, the Panasonic Aviation & Transport Innovation Summit 2015. It will bring together leading transport operators, infrastructure and maintenance companies from across Europe for a day of networking, learning and debate in Utrecht, the Netherlands on 9-10th June. SmartRail is delighted to partner with the event where attendance will give you the opportunity to discuss challenges, share best practice and gain invaluable insight from industry experts on how to optimise your productivity through mobile IT solutions.

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12 industry insights from Day Two of SmartRail Europe.

We are just about all done here at SmartRail Europe 2015 and what a couple of days it has been! Packed full of industry leaders explaining, debating and presenting the latest developments in the industry plus the most innovative solutions providers showcasing their work in the Expo and of course plenty of networking. One of the key discussion points across both days has not just been change within the industry, but the pace of change. Demands from passengers are increasing, whilst budgets are often not moving to match. Meeting the demands and growing ridership and satisfaction levels is a clear opportunity but one not without its challenges. Yesterday we offered some speaker insights from day one, and today we have another twelve quotes from just some of the many leading speakers I’ve heard today. And SmartRail Europe will be back next year – Amsterdam 5-6th May 2016. If you’ve missed this year’s you’ve missed out so hope to see you there!

“Railways focus on ‘operational excellence’: what does not contribute to the reliable execution of daily routine (i.e.: running the business), is generally treated as a threat.” – Jos Holzer, Head of Project Management & Support, Department of Rolling Stock & Energy, NS

“The number one key learning for changing major financial strategies is to ensure that everyone is agreed on a shared vision. And check that it really is shared! When we made our changes, some people did leave but it’s crucial to have everyone focussed together.” - Charles Mander, Finance Director, NS International

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12 expert insights from Day One of SmartRail Europe.

Today SmartRail World reports to you live from the first day of SmartRail Europe in Amsterdam which is just about to come to an end. And we are delighted to give you a little flavour of the day with some speaker highlights from amongst others NS, Network Rail, New Opera and Bombardier. For those of you on Twitter also take a look at the hashtag #SmartRail and our account @SmartRailWorld for more news from today and we've also been putting up some Periscope videos. If you can make it tomorrow is going to be another excellent day, and it’s free for metros, railways and government so come on down – registration opens at 8.30am and you can sign up here.

"Computer power is on average doubling every 18 months, how does business move at the speed which technology does?”- Rohit Talwar, CEO, Fast Future

“Time is money! In concrete terms, we have to reduce not only the time travelling to and from the train station but also on-board the train itself. And also ensure that the passengers when on-board can use their time on board usefully.” – Paul Dirix, Director of Transport, NS

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Guest post: Deadly Amtrak derailment a wake-up call to Congress.

“Our national priorities as set by Congress and the White House are incoherent. What other government would squander its wealth in endless wars while allowing our people to be put at risk by failing, outdated transportation systems?” asks the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) in this special guest post in the wake of the recent deadly Amtrak accident and a House committee proposal to cut Amtrak funding. 

While early reports say excessive speed was a factor in this tragic accident, the lack of Positive Train Control (PTC) that would have automatically slowed the engine down and the well-documented poor condition of our nation's rail system is just the latest example of the way in which Congress refuses to adequately fund transportation. 

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