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News: National Rail launches new WhatsApp travel service

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UK rail passengers returning after the summer holidays can now access customised real-time travel information for their journeys through WhatsApp.

The launch of ‘Alert me by WhatsApp’ by National Rail Enquiries marks a change in passenger communications by delivering personalised journey information directly through the channels people use the most.

Rail passengers can now opt-in to receive personalised journey information generated using revolutionary AI-based data technology developed by British company Zipabout and sent proactively via WhatsApp.

Updates include real-time details of delays, disruption and alternative travel routes.

Rail passengers can access the new service by planning their journey using the National Rail Enquiries website and clicking ‘Keep me updated by WhatsApp’.

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National Rail has sent almost 3 million personalised journey updates to passengers as part of its safer travel pledge during the pandemic.

The updates include busyness alerts that are based on unique forecast demand data, disruption information and alternative travel routes.

Jacqueline Starr, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), the company that manages National Rail on behalf of the rail industry, said: “As people working from home begin commuting to their place of work again, we want to ensure they’re able to travel with confidence, which is why we are providing passengers access to personalised journey information via the channels they use the most.”

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