A partnership between Parkeon Transportation and Northern Rail has led to success at the Transport Ticketing & Passenger Information Awards 2015.

The companies were named joint winners in the Best Customer Serving Operator category for an industry-first innovation that has enhanced the information delivered to passengers via ticket vending machines (TVM).

The accolade recognises the positive customer impact of live train running information being available to customers via 96 Parkeon self-service TVMs introduced across Northern Rail’s vast and varied network. The TVM software developed by Parkeon enables customers to purchase their tickets at the machine and to see live information displayed about the next five trains, including platform details and whether the train is running on time.

During disruption, the initiative allows customers to make an informed decision about buying their ticket and their choices for onward travel, crucial when there is not a member of staff to talk to. The data is fed from the industry Nexus Alpha system and has proved extremely reliable.

At all times, the customer has the option to buy or collect tickets, or return to the train running information, thus making the system dual-purpose, flexible and easy to use. Adding train running information to the Parkeon machines is a cost effective, simple and fast solution, and a first for the rail industry. From placement of order to roll-out, Parkeon completed the project on budget and in less than four months.

Alex Hynes, Managing Director of Northern Rail, comments: “Embracing this new technology has made our Ticket Vending Machines even more customer-friendly. Some of our customers don’t have access to physical Customer Information Screens and it can be difficult for them to access the most up-to-date train running information.  We recognise how important this is to them and we’re investing in offering even more ways to keep informed.”

Says Paul Moirano, Sales Director, UK Rail for Parkeon: “This is a true industry innovation that enables Northern Rail to enhance the information provided to passengers via its TVM network. From an industry perspective, this development addresses one of the key customer communications priorities set by government in its strategic plans for the rail sector.