The international rail revolution - World Rail Festival 2018

Marta Desviat

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Emerging competition and new ways to distribute rail travel are challenging railways. What do they need to do to be successful? Antoine de Kerviler explored this opportunity at the World Rail Festival 2018.

On a journey towards more customer focus

With the European rail deregulation underway, recent rail news show that we are experiencing a true rail revolution: railways are launching new business models and forming strategic partnerships to build a multi modal experience. On the distribution landscape, technology giants such as Google or Amazon are entering the online travel marketplace and travelers are more and more digital savvy, leading to a need for more open and innovative technologies.

To be successful in this transformation, we believe rail operators need to look for more:

  • Partnerships: there is an urgent need for railways to come together to meet the growing demand of travelers, by designing trips and new services around customers 'needs. Companies that can answer to real customer needs, will position themselves at the vanguard of this rail revolution
  • Standardization: this is a key element to inter-operate and to generate a live ecosystem. Two standards is non standard! Implementing standards is very similar to implementing new technology, it needs to work with legacy systems and processes.
  • Customer focus: the shifting conditions make it more important than ever to put the customer at the center. Many travel players are falling short of their potential because they focus on transaction costs instead of offering a lifetime value to the customer. 

A great example that combines all three factors is our partnership with Deutsche Bahn to develop an international rail booking platform. 

World Rail Festival 2018 - Day One Closing Session

A new rail distribution platform for deutsche bahn

Our partnership with Germany's national railway, Deutsche Bahn (DB) is an example of how technology can help a railway to stand out in the distribution landscape.

Thanks to our open source technology and APIs connections with our partner railways, we have built a rail booking solution for DB to sell international rail tickets for multiple railways through its own website and mobile app. Combining multiple carriers in one booking step, rail passengers can find the best fares and have greater transparency of international routes, combined with better connections across Europe.

As a conclusion, competition and the changing market dynamics require more focus on the customer. The key to success is to make rail available at travelers fingertips and we are here to help in this rail revolution.

We want to make rail booking easier for any railway in the world.