VR owns and operates the passenger services of Finnish railways. The company needs to optimize workflow, customer service and internal communications onboard its trains. Solinor provides the application.
No conductor, no go
In 2016, VR aims to improve the efficiency of its passenger operations. In its current state, each train is assigned with a conductor. VR’s goal is to improve the conductors’ coverage and flexibility, whilst decreasing the amount of labor needed. Solinor is chosen to design and build a desktop and mobile application to support these objectives.
Beacons & NFC
At the core, beacons are installed to identify stations and locate trains within the system. Likewise, conductors are equipped NFC technology for ticket inspection and location tracking, and an application is developed for desktop and mobile use. A total of 750 beacons are installed on 140 carriages and stations, with a total of 200 conductors and dispatchers using the application.
Location tracking improves workflow: it gives dispatchers tools to locate each train and conductor on a map, which in turn enables conductors to switch between trains “on the run” and cover larger areas during their shifts. Collecting historical data from routes and conductors’ workflows enables efficient route planning as well as planning and streamlining future routes and workflows.
How Solinor helped
Using the application, dispatchers are not only able to see the location of trains and conductors, but also communicate with the team using the instant chat feature. Likewise, the conductors can chat with each other, report maintenance issues and request backup in security or emergency situations. Conductors inspect passenger tickets using the Android application. Connected with NFC via beacons to the backend system, the app connects to VR’s ticketing system to check for ticket authenticity and validity. At the same time, the data collected allows to track the customers’ journeys in more detail.