Why the next ten years looks set to be the decade of rail

Philip Martin

Former Head of Marketing, Amadeus Rail

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We've launched a major new whitepaper entitled Back on Track with the aim of stimulating debate around the theme of how outsourcing can help drive modernisation in the rail industry.

Last week we launched a major new whitepaper entitled Back on Track with the aim of stimulating debate around the theme of how outsourcing can help drive modernisation in the rail industry.

Authored by Professor James Woudhuysen, the paper explores in detail the role of technology and in particular whether the IT infrastructure that sits behind modern rail systems can deliver against the promise of high speed rail travel in Europe, and more specifically, against the objectives laid out in the EC Whitepaper - ‘Roadmap to a single European Transport Network’.

Against the backdrop of greater de-regulation in Europe and ever-expanding high-speed rail networks, rail companies are presented with an unprecedented opportunity to become the traveller’s mode of choice.

However, complex and outdated legacy IT systems are preventing rail companies from capitalising on this opportunity and in turn establishing the competitive differentiation that will be crucial in this new age of rail.

Some of the report’s key findings include:

  • Supporting modernisation:

    how outsourcing IT systems to a community platform will free rail companies to focus on improving the customer experience (both on-board and in the station) and taking full advantage of the significant growth opportunities for international rail


  • Establishing competitive differentiation:

    rail companies will be able to achieve this differentiation by applying their own business rules – but will also enjoy the benefits of easy collaboration


  • Realising through-ticketing:

    a community platform would also make it easier for travellers to book through-tickets. In a recent pan-European survey which Amadeus commissioned with YouGov, 60% of respondents indicated that they would like to be able to reserve connecting rail travel and other modes of transport in advance when booking their long distance, high speed rail journey


In parallel, it is worth noting that another recently-launched corporate Amadeus study explores, amongst other issues, how to deliver a more seamless door-to-door experience for the traveller.