Northern Rail uses mobile technology to improve customer service

A new mobile information service, enabled by Vodafone UK, is delivering real time, detailed journey information to over one thousand conductors on Northern Rail trains, improving customer service by ensuring customers are kept better informed throughout their journey.

Northern Rail’s investment gives train conductors working across the 2,600 daily train services access to more detailed service information from the control team and allows them to communicate with each other more effectively, for a flat monthly price.

Train conductors will now have access, through their BlackBerry to live departure boards, giving up to date information on onward connections.

The partnership between Vodafone and Northern has provided devices to more than 1,000 Northern Rail conductors based across the north of England, serving an overall population of 15 million customers. Following the success of an initial 12 month pilot scheme, Vodafone and Northern worked closely to deliver a tailored solution which included training and set up for every conductor.

Vodafone and Northern will continue to work together to extend the solution to mobilise delivery of internal processes such as train crew rostering, overtime and holiday requests.

Heidi Mottram, managing director, Northern Rail, said: “Our partnership with Vodafone will make a real difference to our conductors and customers. By providing conductors with cutting edge tools and full training, they’ll be able to get the most out of the device to help customers. This new scheme will revolutionise how we communicate with our front line staff and managerial teams and will allow us to deliver a consistently high level of service to our customers.”

Peter Kelly, enterprise director, Vodafone UK, said: “The new solution will allow Northern Rail conductors to interact directly with the most up to date information available, a key advantage in providing a responsive and efficient service to customers.”