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Darwin system evolves passenger information

Passenger information screens across the UK are now all using the central Darwin system, in a bid to improve the clarity of train running.

Darwin will feed live information to railway station screens and online channels, including National Rail Enquiries, to ensure greater consistency of information nationally.

It replaces 66 separate systems operated by train companies and Network Rail, and is the culmination of a £9 million investment funded by the National Stations Improvement Programme to ensure that passengers see the same data however they seek it - whether at stations, online or via a mobile application.

Darwin provides real-time arrival and departure predictions, platform numbers, delay estimates, schedule changes and cancellations. It is reported to be the only system in the UK that takes feeds directly from every train operator’s customer information system and combines it with train location data provided by Network Rail.

“Our customers tell us that they want better information, especially when services are disrupted, and this project is an important step towards addressing that need,” said Rail Delivery Group Managing Director for Customer Experience Jacqueline Starr.

“Many rail passengers will be familiar with the panic that sets in when they are waiting for a train and the screen on the station platform tells them one thing but the app on their phone says another. The improvements we’re making today should bring an end to those moments.

“Being able to trust the origin of information on the railway is crucial for customers, so that they can make the best decisions about their journeys. We know that we haven’t always got it right in the past, but we hope this change will make life that bit easier for our passengers.”  

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  • FrankH - 29/06/2016 12:06

    "Darwin provides real-time arrival and departure predictions, platform numbers, delay estimates, schedule changes and cancellations. It is reported to be the only system in the UK that takes feeds directly from every train operator’s customer information system and combines it with train location data provided by Network Rail" So it's cost £9 million to implement a system very similar to Realtime Trains.

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  • MoaningOldGit - 04/07/2016 23:41

    Well, it's only as good as the people who input into it to add to the automated recording point data. It's not the fantastic system as depicted by industry high flyers (who actually know nothing about it and all its many flaws). A lot of those who need to provide input from TOC Controls are, I think, not very good at their jobs!

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