Posted 3rd December 2009 | 2 Comments

ATOC launches 'world first' guide to stations, with the help of 700,000 photographs

ATOC's head of online services, Jason Webb, agrees updates will be vital

ATOC's head of online services, Jason Webb, agrees updates will be vital

A new online guide to National Rail has been launched by the Association of Train Operating Companies to help passengers, especially those with disabilities, to find their way round more than 2500 stations. The innovation, including 14,000 web pages and interactive maps as well as 700,000 photographs, is said to be a world first.

The guide is now part of the NRES website, which is run by ATOC, and has cost £1.2 million to set up. It allows potential passengers to research their routes around stations in advance. In some cases, the number of possible routes runs into huge totals, with 44,000 recorded at London Bridge and nearly as many at Leeds.

Funding has come from several sources, including £500,000 from the Department for Transport, £200,000 from Network Rail and £450,000 from ATOC itself. Transport Scotland has also contributed a further £100,000.

ATOC Chief Executive Michael Roberts said: "This is a first for a national rail network, anywhere in the world. From parents with small children and passengers with heavy bags, to older people and the disabled, the new service will help passengers to get around stations with as little bother and hassle as possible."

Jason Webb of ATOC, who is in charge of the NRES website, said the information would need regular updates, especially as the DfT has recently announced a £50 million investment programme at ten stations, which will mean many changes ahead. Regular audits will also be carried out at stations nationwide, with the help of individual train operators and Network Rail.

Reader Comments:

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  • Brian Nettlefold, North Bay

    Actually, a colleague with some limitations on mobility did use this as soon as it was announced, to "pre-familiarize" himself with Woverhampton and Penrith stations. He found it incredibly useful.

  • Rich, UK

    Will this actually be used? Without wanting to stereotype people, or put them into groups, I can imagine that the people who will find this kind of information useful are precisely the people who won't find it, either because they never use the internet, or won't dive as deep into the National Rail website as they would need to.