There was a clear message at the annual NSWTrains forum where the focus was on changing customer perception about travelling by train and aiming to be a customer centric company.
The forum was held in Newcastle NSW so I took the scenic route from Sydney to Newcastle via the NSWTrains intercity along the east coast. The views were amazing, especially as the train passed by a number of bays on the way up north.
It was wonderful to see so many trees stretching for miles into the distance too, on arriving at Hamilton we had to change due to the truncation project that has closed the line to Newcastle for it to be replaced at a later date with a light rail operation. The shuttle bus was there to take us into town.
Jessica Moses opened the event with a short video on safety, an area very much on the mind of NSWTrains as they look to create a safety culture throughout the company. There was next another video from Dave Stewart, Secretary of Transport NSW who spoke about real-time apps that would help passengers have access to better information, creating better efficiency. He also hoped that by building partnerships that innovation would bring new opportunities that will help shape the future of rail travel.
Rob Mason CEO of NWSTrains then explained how they are looking to create more interpersonal relationships with their customers as a way of boosting a stagnant patronage. He felt that the perception of train travel is that it is not a safe mode of transportation, which is why they will focus on a safety program to build confidence within the company that will be noticed by their customers. He also mentioned how important it was on discovering innovative ways to work with their partners and develop new solutions.
Siju Johny, Head of Procurement and Contracts, presented a number of areas that they would be expecting to improve, one of them specifically on IT that needs to bring in more customer service improvements.
This is one of the reasons why they have chosen Amadeus to manage the reservation system operations, with migration to the Erding datacentre scheduled in 2015 to reduce hardware costs and be part of a community platform that will drive shared technological innovation over the next 8 years of the agreement.