“New information service to keep rail passengers on the move”

London, 22nd July, 2004

Developed by Atos Origin, Funded by Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority

Rail users in Greater Manchester are to benefit from the introduction of a new 24-hour automated telephone service providing up-to-the-minute information on train departure times and advising if there are any delays expected. The service is funded by Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority and designed, built and operated by Atos Origin.

Passengers simply need to call the ‘How's my train running?' telephone line on 0161-228 0322 (local rates apply) and input a four digit code for the station they are travelling from. The service requires a touch-tone phone and covers approximately 100 stations within Greater Manchester.

The service is an extension of the Atos Origin Customer Information Systems solution that manages and transmits accurate travel information in real time to passengers via multiple sources, including information screens and public address systems in stations throughout the UK. Atos Origin exports the real-time data that is transmitted to the customer information screens in train stations into voice form, so that the same accurate information can be accessed over the telephone.

Chair of the Authority, Councillor Roger Jones, launched the service at IrIam rail station saying: “The rail information service will provide fast, cheap and accurate real time information so passengers can make an informed decision about when and how to travel. This is an example of how intelligent use of technology can improve the passenger experience and make travelling easier.

“Safety and security will be boosted as there will be no need for passengers to wait for long periods of time at un-staffed stations if they know exactly when to expect their train. The rail line is another element in the Authority's attempts to use all aspects of technology available to us to make using public transport easier. It's simple to use and I encourage all rail passengers to take full advantage of this facility.”

Lee Hewett, director for rail and urban transport at Atos Origin, said: “The 24-hour automated telephone service demonstrates how innovative use of technology can deliver valuable services to the travelling public. Greater Manchester is the first region to adopt this new service which sets a model for expansion of similar services for rail passengers across the country.”

Leaflets and posters explaining how the rail information line works are available from staffed stations or, where stations are unstaffed, from nearby community and public buildings such as libraries. The leaflet contains a list of all the participating stations and a cut-off pocket reminder card that passengers can complete with the code for their local station.


About Atos Origin
Atos Origin is an international information technology (IT) services company. Its business is turning client vision into results through the application of consulting, systems integration and managed operations. The company's annual revenues are more than EUR 5 billion and it employs 47,000 people in 50 countries. Atos Origin is the Worldwide Information Technology Partner for the Olympic Games and its clients include ABN AMRO, Akzo Nobel, Alstom, BNP Paribas, BP, Ericsson, EDF, Euronext, Fiat, France Telecom, ICI, ING, KPN, Lucent, Philips, Renault, Royal Bank of Scotland, Saudi Aramco, Schlumberger, Shell, Telecom Italia, UBS, UK Department of Works and Pensions, Unilever, Vivendi Universal and Vodafone.

For more information, please contact:
Caroline Crouch
Atos Origin
Tel: +44 (0)20 7830 4233

GMPTE Press contact:
Rob Pett or Anthony Hobbs
Tel: +44 (0)161-242 6245