8:00 am Registration

8:30 am Chair’s Opening Remarks

8:35 am Improving & Understanding the Customer Perception of the Railways: Information During Disruption & Rail Customers’ Needs & Priorities

  • Guy Dangerfield Director of Strategy, Transport Focus
  • Andrew Scott Head of Passengers, Engagement and Delivery Team, Williams Rail Review, Department of Transport


  • Understanding the customer perception and expectation and understanding why improving information is important
  • Reflecting on what are the key areas where the industry as a whole need to focus improvement
  • Lessons from Transport Focus; how core messaging can affect relationships with customers

Providing Consistent & Instantaneous Communication

10:00 am Panel: Working Together to Provide Consistent & Real-Time Information Delivery to Customers

  • James Aslaksen Head of project “Data Exchange” in the Passenger Information Division, Deutsche Bahn


  • Valuing openness over competiveness and realising the railway must work together to provide a long term service to passengers
  • Infrastructure Managers, TOCs and 3rd party retailers taking a collaborative approach to identify key areas for streamlining processes to deliver a high standard of passenger information
  • Communicating a consistent message when a number of TOCs are affected by the same disruption to allow customers to understand what is happening and make the right travel decisions for themselves

10:40 am Speed Networking & Morning Refreshments

11:30 am Case Study: How to Tell Customers that Their Train is Cancelled: The Hidden Complexities of Customer Communications, Real-Time Data Quality, Cross-Reference & Predictive Algorithms

  • James Noon Senior Digital Technologist, Virgin Trains
  • Steve Gooder Digital Technology Director, Virgin Trains


  • Building a real-time picture of the network – sources and challenges
  • Delivering information to customers – means and methods
  • Opportunities to derive new insights as a result of building a rich dataset

12:10 pm Audience Discussion: Optimising the Role of Social Media as Part of a Multi-Channel Communication Strategy


  • Using social media platforms such as Twitter to spread information to rapidly inform customers about disruptions and alternate routes available to them
  • Understanding how passengers interact with social media platforms and encourage them to use the right channels to find information they want and need
  • Enforce response time standard to queries that do not sacrifice quality for speed for effective information delivery to customers

12:40 pm Networking Lunch

Information During Disruption

1:40 pm Outlining Best Practices for Control Room Management During Disruption: Resources, Processes & Prioritisation of Tasks


  • Making sure systems are up-to-date and not “turning out nonsense”
  • Using train location data and other information to quickly identify exactly where an event on the network is impacting the train service
  • Managing the construction of a new timetable, communicating that and getting information out in real time

2:20 pm Panel: Best Practices in Customer Information During Disruption

  • Stewart Craig Customer Information Delivery Manager, ScotRail Alliance
  • David Whitley Head of Customer Experience Strategy and Innovation, West Midland Trains


  • How TOCs have managed to effectively handle rapidly changing information and deliver that successfully and efficiently to passengers
  • Successes in using automation to speed up processes and more effectively manage disruptions
  • Alternate Travel in Disruptions: communicating to customers and alternate travel providers to ensure passengers are able to complete their journey

3:00 pm Afternoon Refreshments

Whole Customer Journey

3:30 pm Creating a Customer-First Culture Across Your Company & Training Staff to Communicate with Customers with Appropriate Language & Tone


  • Establishing a brand identity focused on putting passengers first which customers see, executives prioritise and front line staff deliver
  • Educating staff to understand the pressures customers face and the return they expect for the financial investment they make when using their service
  • Ensuring that incentives to update passengers with new information are not in competition with their incentives to deliver the train service itself to safeguard rapid customer information transfer
  • Empowering customer-facing staff and putting them at the centre of the decision process to ensure excellent delivery

4:10 pm Providing Multi-Modal, End-To-End Information to Customers to Create a Seamless & Low-Stress Experience of Using the Railway as Part of a Larger Journey


  • Appreciating and understanding the whole customer journey to recognise an individual’s travel needs and not treat their trip as a station to station venture
  • Understanding how non-train travel providers operate and how your systems may integrate to create an end-to-end connected experience
  • Exploring the use of open data to ease the transfer of real-time information between transport providers

4:50 pm Chair’s Closing Remarks

5:00 pm End of Day One