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Flexible booking engine wins HackTrain 3.0

16 November 2016  •  Author: European Railway Review

The third annual HackTrain saw rail and technology experts join forces on 4-6th November to drive innovation and tackle the industry’s biggest challenges. FlexRail, a flexible ticketing system, was named winner at this year’s event.

Flexible booking engine wins HackTrain 3.0

Launched at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel in London, the 48-hour event saw 80 developers, designers and entrepreneurs travel around UK and Europe to tackle current challenges facing the industry.  The innovators were able to build prototypes using never before released data from the rail sector.

River Tamoor Baig, Co-Founder of HackTrain, said: “This is our third HackTrain hackathon now, and it’s been incredible to see the train operators and the DfT continuing to invest time and resources into making the railway a more pleasant form of travel for all passengers. By using data and new technology we can finally work towards solving some of the challenges that have been plaguing passengers and the rail industry for decades. This is our chance for a RailTech revolution.”

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The event was supported by the Department for Transport (DfT) and backed by companies including SilverRail, Angel Trains, SNCF, Stagecoach, First Group, Go-Ahead Group, National Express, Transport for London (TfL), Eurostar and MTR.

HackTrain to aid implementation of FlexRail

Following a judging process, FlexRail was announced as this year’s winning team. The new innovation is a flexible booking engine that allows passengers to select a range of times they are available to travel instead of choosing a fixed time which systems currently offer.

“Instead of buying a ticket at 9am during the busiest train, our engine allows passengers to select a range of times that they’re able to travel, for example 9am – 1pm, and then 24 hours before their travel it notifies them what train they will be on. This allows train operators to distribute the number of passengers evenly across several services, giving passengers a more comfortable experience,” explains FlexRail co-founder Sina Shamshiri.

HackTrain will now work with the winning team as well as other participants of the hackathon to implement ideas within the industry.

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