Real-time information of rail journeys across the country is to be made available to tech firms, to develop travel apps for passengers in the future.

Rail Minister Jo Johnson and Rail Delivery Group chief executive Paul Plummer published the Joint Rail Data Action Plan, which sets out obligations and deadlines for delivering closer working between rail and tech firms, with the aim to support more seamless journeys and better information on services and delays.  The data could also be used to provide information on seat availability and on-board facilities like refreshments and toilets.

The move follows publication of the National Infrastructure Commission’s report, Data for the Public Good, which highlighted the increased benefits and improved efficiencies that could be achieved by sharing data across infrastructure sectors.

Responding to today’s announcement, a National Infrastructure Commission spokesman said:

“This joint initiative to increase data sharing across the rail sector puts our recommendations into practice, and will lead to better information for passengers.

“We’ve highlighted the need for data sharing across infrastructure sectors under a dedicated framework, and this is an important step towards that.  We look forward to seeing how the rail industry and other sectors take this agenda forward.”