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  1. Government Computing
July 1, 2021

UK announces funding to develop Rail Data Marketplace platform

The UK Government has announced a $6.89m (£5m) funding to develop the Rail Data Marketplace (RDM) to improve rail travel for passengers.

The rail industry and the government will jointly develop the new Rail Data Marketplace platform. Credit: Tim Bigger from Pixabay.

The rail industry and the government will jointly develop the new single-access platform to offer frameworks and tools to share rail data for passengers.

The platform is expected to create new opportunities for developers and tech firms to merge with the rail data into passenger-facing applications and helps in developing new services.

It will provide passenger information the include seat availability, detail on disruptions and availability of facilities such as lifts and escalators, which will be integrated at one place.

UK Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “Sharing rail data like this opens up new and exciting possibilities for apps and websites that can make taking a train a smoother, quicker and better experience.

“Our reforms in the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail will put an end to the fragmentation of rail data in the industry and unleash new opportunities that will support innovation and enable data to power the services of the future.”

The new RDM platform will have the capacity to support new real-time alert services such as providing information regarding the passenger flow or the most accessible platform point.

This will improve passenger experience and address the fragmentation of data sources by combining them together on a single platform.

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Rail Delivery Group chief information officer Simon Moorhead said: “Delivering the Rail Data Marketplace will build on the rail sector’s track record of opening up data to allow train operators, suppliers and new partners, such as tech companies, to innovate for the benefit of passengers.

“The Rail Delivery Group is pleased to be building this new service to make it easier for companies to sign up for rail data and work with the sector to open up new streams of information to help improve journeys.”

The government noted the new platform is planned to be introduced next year after the technology development and engagement with the sector and data consumers.

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