Hull Trains has introduced new technology which publishes the level of passengers onboard in real time, to help make social-distanced travelling easier when services resume.
The open access rail operator will introduce a limited timetable on 12 April after a third period of hibernation ends as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This innovation allows passengers to check how busy the train is on the Hull Trains website or app, thanks to official data supplied by onboard managers.
It has been developed by First Rail, part of FirstGroup the parent company of Hull Trains, to help manage social distancing and is part of the preparations to welcome passengers back onboard Paragon trains.
Louise Cheeseman, managing director for Hull Trains, said the tool can give people confidence when travelling by train as the country starts to ease out of lockdown.
“We’re really excited to be welcoming our passengers and staff back when we return to service next week for the first time since 9 January 2021,” she said.
“Welcoming people back onboard safely is vital to the future of the business. As an open access operator, we rely on revenue from train tickets sales. We want to make it as easy as possible for people to travel safely and this live tracking tool will play a big role in that.
“It’s important that passengers feel that they can travel confidently with us. The Live Train Tracker will help people to make more informed decisions about travelling by train while we steadily reintroduce services and build the business back up.”
People will see how busy the trains are in real time through a simple, red, amber and green code. It also shows locations of toilets and priority seating to limit people walking through carriages.
Louise added: “This is one of several measures we have put in place to keep people safe onboard, our seats are clearly labelled with spaced-out seating and we have a dedicated cleaner on every journey. We are currently limiting the number of tickets available to maintain social distancing and this technology will make it easier for people to decide which carriage to sit in.”
The timetable will start with two services in each direction on weekdays with an additional northbound service on Fridays only, and three services north and south on Saturdays and Sundays. From 17th May, the number of Hull Trains services will increase. Timetables available here: https://www.hulltrains.co.uk/travel-information/timetables
Book direct with Hull Trains for best fares online: https://www.hulltrains.co.uk