News Article | April 25, 2017
Group to challenge First Group and others to run trains from London to Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow The French state railway SNCF is to partner with Virgin Trains for a bid to run the first HS2 high-speed trains.The competition for the West Coast Partnership franchise will pit the Virgin, Stagecoach and SNCF consortium against First Group and the Italian state-owned Trenitalia, with other potential bidders still to come forward. Continue reading...
News Article | May 9, 2017
CARMEL, IN--(Marketwired - May 9, 2017) - Determine, Inc. ( : DTRM), the pioneering leader in global Source-to-Pay and Enterprise Contract Lifecycle Management (ECLM) Cloud Platform solutions, announced today that the award-winning U.K.-based train operator c2c, part of leading European train operator Trenitalia, has selected the Determine Cloud Platform to advance their strategic sourcing processes and contract management effectiveness. As an innovative transportation leader, c2c (company name Trenitalia c2c) serves 26 stations in East London and South Essex, UK. The company, which traces its lineage back to the 1850's, was named Passenger Operator of the Year and London's best commuter operator in 2015. It holds the UK record for annual on-time performance -- 97.5%. "We are proud that one of the leading train operators in the UK, c2c, has chosen the Determine Cloud Platform to manage its complex and growing sourcing solutions needs. As a company with highly sophisticated sourcing and contract infrastructure, the Determine Cloud Platform provides c2c with the advanced capabilities they require. A single source of data truth across all solutions, along with our powerful Business Process Management engine integrating all workflows, means the Determine Cloud Platform provides unparalleled collaboration and efficiency to increase competitiveness." -- Steve Potts, Chief Revenue Officer, Determine Determine was selected by c2c through a competitive tender process. The company's procurement exercise set out to deliver a system to replicate their previous contract repository and e-procurement platform to a demanding deadline, on a flexible platform, and capable of meeting future needs. "The Determine platform provides the foundation for c2c to drive efficiency in our supplier relations and procurement processes. It will ensure increased financial oversight of our contracts and enable us to comply with our regulatory requirements." -- Rob Appleyard, Head of Supply Chain Management, c2c Determine was selected on the basis of providing the most capable product at a competitive price and the right delivery model. "Onboarding c2c further expands Determine's already significant presence and market share in the transportation vertical -- which includes airlines, automobiles, rail and related industries. We look forward to putting our category expertise and Determine Cloud Platform to work helping c2c reach, and exceed, their business goals and showing another successful client the true value of Platformance." -- Jeffrey Grosman, Chief Operating Officer, Determine About C2C c2c is the award-winning train operator running services between Fenchurch Street and Shoeburyness, serving 26 stations in East London and South Essex. Owned by Trenitalia, c2c is one of the UK's most punctual and popular train operators and over 43m journeys are made on our services every year. Italian-based Trenitalia is one of Europe's leading rail operators and the passenger rail arm of FS Italiane Group. Trenitalia manages passenger services with long haul connections, both on high speed (Frecciarossa) and conventional lines, and regional and metropolitan services. Overall FS Italiane Group runs 8,000 trains a day, serving 600 million passengers and carrying 50 million tons of freight a year, over a network exceeding 16,700 kilometres. For more information, please visit: www.c2c-online.co.uk About Determine, Inc. Determine, Inc. ( : DTRM) is a leading global provider of SaaS Source-to-Pay and Enterprise Contract Lifecycle Management (ECLM) solutions. The Determine Cloud Platform provides procurement, legal and finance professionals analytics of their supplier, contract and financial performance. Our technologies empower customers to drive new revenue, identify savings, improve compliance and mitigate risk. The Determine Cloud Platform seamlessly integrates with major ERP or third-party systems such as SAP, Oracle, Sage, QAD and Microsoft. Modular solutions can be configured to add more as needed to provide additional value beyond spend management. Our unified master database and business process approach empower users at every level to make more informed and smarter decisions. For more information, please visit: www.determine.com.
News Article | May 15, 2017
Multi-modal search engine Rome2rio is now taking bookings for National Express and Renfe directly on its site, with more integrations on the way, including operators from Asia. It has had UK rail booking capability integrated into its search results for around a year, powered by SilverRail, the rail distribution platform in which Expedia Inc took a majority stake last week. Rod Cuthbert, Rome2rio’s executive chairman, said that the noted this deal “demonstrates how important the ground transportation sector is going to be over the coming years.” For Rome2rio, the integrations announced today are the biggest indication that the business is looking at a hybrid search/OTA model, moving away from its established click-through affiliate model. “The first five to six years of our growth has come from having a unique and global search engine which found the all the ways to get from A to B, and then we passed you over to the partner, ” he said. “The clickthrough model delivers consistent but modest revenues and we can earn more money by completing the booking ourselves.” But he also noted other benefits. “If the customer books on our site, we can cross-sell them a hotel, and we can continue the dialogue over time. We can own the customer. If they click off to a partner site, we lose them.” The integrations of National Express, Renfe (which includes the high speed AVE intercity network) and Trenitalia (which goes live later this week) have been prioritised in order of customer preference. “We followed the data”, he explained. “We started with UK rail because that was where the most clickthroughs were heading”. The new partners were the next most popular with users. The move to a more transactional platform begs the question about custom acquisition costs. Cuthbert is confident on two fronts. “It’s very much the case that if you build it, they will come,” he said. “Having the ability to book Italian trains, National Express, and the others to come, means you just do get the traffic, get the loyal customers. It’s a virtuous circle.” He also said that the site gets 10 million unique users a month, and that 85% of that business comes via organic search. “We’ve indexed 70 million city pairs on Google,” he said. Rome2rio also believes that its global perspective is a differentiator, all backed by its proprietary and scalable platform. “So as well as the three direct integrations this week, we’re already working on half a dozen more rail and bus operators in Europe and Asia, and there are so many operators out there we can partner with.” Related reading from Tnooz: Multi-modal needs big guns of travel to hit next level (May17)
News Article | April 1, 2017
At Romford station, in the Essex centre of “taking back control”, there’s a choice of trains into London: those run by the Dutch, or those run by the Chinese. Anyone heading for nearby Basildon has to change at Upminster and pay a fare to the Italian firm that has been operating C2C since January. Welsh railways fell to German-owned Arriva long ago, while ScotRail is also in the hands of the Netherlands’ Abellio. The French, as part of Govia, own much of Britain’s biggest commuter franchises, including Southern Rail. Still, the news last week that South West Trains – serving destinations such as Weymouth and Windsor from Waterloo – would from August be operated by First MTR, partly owned by the Hong Kong government, marked a tipping point in Britain’s rail franchising. With the transfer of this network, which has been operated since 1995 by Britain’s Stagecoach, one in two of the 1.7bn passenger journeys made in the UK each year will be on trains operated by foreign firms. And all of those firms are ultimately owned by foreign states – which outrages unions and others who call rail privatisation into question. Mick Whelan, general secretary of train drivers’ union Aslef, said: “It is savagely ironic that the Tories say they don’t believe in state control, yet are perfectly happy to allow Britain’s train companies to be run by state-owned railways – as long as it’s another state!” Some believe that Britain’s departure from the EU could prompt reform. Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT union, says: “With the government triggering article 50, and freeing the UK from EU rail directives, there is now no excuse at all for carrying on with the wholesale rip-off that exports British fare payers’ cash overseas.” But few other EU states opened their networks to competition the way Britain has. British firms such as National Express do have contracts in Germany for local and regional networks, but long-term franchises of such scale, revenues and potential profits have been a peculiarly British gift. Yet foreign firms are expanding as domestic transport groups start to question whether they can afford the risk. National Express has quit the UK rail market altogether, selling C2C to Trenitalia this year. Stagecoach let itself be outbid by First MTR, and has struggled with East Coast. Passenger growth has slowed after a recent boom, and at least one losing bidder for the Greater Anglia franchise retained last year by Abellio privately admitted to relief, having seen the figures. One industry source said: “People have been bidding bonkers numbers. But these foreign firms can absorb more risk because they are state-backed.” Train operators’ total UK income in 2015-16 was £12.4bn, including fares and government subsidy, according to the Office of Rail and Road, while expenditure was £12.1bn, only £285m short of that. Dividends paid last year included £15m to Deutsche Bahn via Arriva Wales, £20m to Northern owner (until April 2016) Abellio, and a share of £59m from Govia’s franchises to SNCF. A 2013 report by the Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change at the University of Manchester found that the Wales and Northern franchises had paid out similar levels of dividend, £176m, between 2007 and 2011, accounting for all of their profits – profits that wouldn’t exist without £2.5bn in government subsidies. Is this, as the RMT suggests, entirely “plunder”? Not necessarily, said Chris Cheek of Passenger Transport: “You cannot assume that all the money is repatriated. Abellio and Arriva, for example, have bus businesses in the UK, so may well be reinvesting profits in that. Keolis helped build the Nottingham tram extension which opened last year. ” And he says FirstGroup, Stagecoach and National Express all have overseas interests, albeit more bus than rail. According to Paul Plummer of the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators, franchising has meant “rail companies from around the world bring new ideas and innovation to Britain’s railway, and railways across the world still want to learn from our successes”. For Aslef’s Whelan, however, the latest foreign incursion underlines how “deeply flawed” franchising is: “We have to ensure that, instead of haemorrhaging money into the pockets of private shareholders or to subsidise the publicly owned railways of other countries, we keep it in Britain either to reinvest in infrastructure, to reduce fares, or to help build the schools and hospitals we need.” Europe Germany’s Deutsche Bahn owns Arriva, which operates Chiltern, Cross Country, Wales & Borders, London Overground and Grand Central. Italy’s Trenitalia now runs Essex Thameside, and French state firm SNCF owns Keolis, which runs numerous franchises in joint ventures. As part of Govia, with Go-Ahead, it operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern, Southeastern and London Midland; with Amey it runs the Docklands Light Railway. Dutch state rail owns Abellio, which runs ScotRail and Greater Anglia, and Merseyrail. China Hong Kong state owns MTR, which holds the South West Trains franchise with First. MTR will also run Crossrail.
News Article | December 12, 2016
"L'obiettivo di Trainline è sempre stato quello di posizionarsi come leader delle vendite online di biglietti ferroviari in Europa", ha commentato Daniel Beutler, General Manager di Trainline International. "Il Benelux occupa una posizione centrale e strategica nel cuore dell'Europa, con moltissime persone che si spostano quotidianamente tra questi tre paesi. La partnership con BeNe Rail è un'ottima notizia per i viaggiatori europei e risponde a una domanda reale dei nostri utenti. Siamo fieri di poter proporre loro un servizio di qualità che ne faciliti gli spostamenti". Il Benelux rappresenta un vero e proprio nodo ferroviario e luogo di connessioni transfrontaliere con paesi già coperti da Trainline attraverso la vendita dei biglietti da parte di Thalys, Deutsche Bahn ed Eurostar. Pertanto, l'integrazione delle ferrovie BeNe Rail e l'offerta di un servizio ai viaggiatori ancora più ricco e completo, rappresenta un passo indispensabile. La partnership con BeNe Rail arricchisce ulteriormente l'offerta di Trainline, che attualmente permette ai propri utenti di raggiungere oltre 24.000 stazioni in 24 paesi europei serviti da 48 operatori ferroviari, tra cui SNCF, iDTGV e Ouigo in Francia, Deutsche Bahn e HKX in Germania e Trenitalia e NTV in Italia. Trainline è il leader europeo indipendente della vendita di biglietti del treno online. Combinando le offerte di 48 compagnie ferroviarie in 24 paesi, l'azienda mira a facilitare la mobilità in Europa. Ad oggi, più di 100.000 viaggi al giorno sono prenotati sui suoi siti e le sue app. Trainline ha come vocazione quella di costituire una biglietteria unica per i viaggi in treno e centralizza le offerte di diverse compagnie ferroviarie per permettere ai suoi clienti di trovare tutti gli itinerari possibili e prenotare al miglior prezzo disponibile.
News Article | February 19, 2017
Energy companies are hardly popular at the best of times, but British Gas must have hoped for some praise when it said it was freezing energy prices until August, a timely announcement made on the same day Scottish Power unveiled a 7.8% increase. However, the move – which is being funded by cost cutting – could prove to be a temporary respite for consumers, given wholesale prices are still rising. Barclays analysts said: “We expect [British Gas owner] Centrica will have to raise tariffs in August, or face a retail ... margin collapse from 2015’s 7% to less than 3.7% over the next 12 months.” In any case, the freeze is unikely to deflect the usual criticism about British Gas’s excessive profits when Centrica reports its results on Friday. The UK energy business is expected to see full-year earnings rise from £891m to £950m, with the group’s total profits – including its exploration and US operations – up from £1.11bn to £1.17bn. There is also the prospect of the government introducing a price cap, given the outrage over energy price rises. Ofgem is already set to introduce a price cap for prepayment customers in April, which analysts say could knock £80m off British Gas earnings. And despite its consumer-friendly price move, British Gas is never far from controversy. Last month, it had to pay £9.5m for IT failures that meant business customers received incorrect and late bills. Another area which regularly attracts more than its share of complaints is the rail industry, with delays, cancellations, overcrowding and constant fare increases guaranteed to raise the ire of passengers. But one company set to avoid this in future is National Express. Once the UK’s biggest train operator, it sold its last franchise, the London-to-Essex route c2c, to Italy’s Trenitalia for nearly £73m this month. Operators have become less enamoured of the rail sector, with profits squeezed and tougher franchise terms imposed. National Express will now concentrate on its coach and bus businesses, and chief executive Dean Finch says the sale provides “the opportunity to invest further in our strong pipeline of growth opportunities in markets where we consistently receive strong returns”. It has not ruled out returning to UK rail with new franchise bids, but it seems unlikely this will happen in the near future. The company has promised more details of its future strategy and the implications of the sale of the rail franchise when it reports full-year results on Thursday. Hints from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen last week that US interest rates may soon rise came at the right time for the UK financial sector. In advance of the bank reporting season, share prices have been boosted by hopes that higher rates will boost margins, while the prospect of Trump-inspired economic growth and a relaxation of regulations has also given support to the sector. HSBC is the first UK bank to report its 2016 figures, and with much of its business overseas it has been helped by the slide in sterling since the Brexit vote. But investors will be keen to know more about its performance in emerging markets, its cost-cutting, including closing UK branches, and any further regulatory issues. Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland follow in quick succession, and all but the latter are expected to show solid numbers. RBS, however, is set to report a £6bn plunge into the red after provisions for possible fines – its ninth consecutive year of losses. Lloyds is forecast to report a £4bn profit, up from £1.6bn, but some of the shine will be taken off by the £245m fraud at HBOS, which has left it having to compensate victims. Meanwhile, Barclays could beat consensus forecasts due to foreign exchange movements, according to analysts at Investec.
News Article | November 14, 2016
Melbourne, Nov. 15, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Travel search engine Rome2rio is powering towards the key milestone of 100 million annual visitors, a number they plan to leverage in their shift from pure search to a hybrid search / booking model. The shift comes as Rome2rio positions itself as a dominant player in transportation metasearch, and works to realise its vision of being the most complete transit resource online. The company’s repository of transit data currently contains route information from over 4,800 transport operators in 158 countries worldwide and has recently inked a raft of partnership deals to expand their onsite booking capability. An established partnership with SilverRail, which saw the rollout of onsite bookings for UK rail in mid-2016, has now expanded to include Amtrak. A recently concluded partnership with Trenitalia will see bookings for Italian rail travel available on site before the end of 2016, while bookings for rail travel in Germany, France and other key European markets will follow in early 2017. In the fast growing coach marketplace, partnerships with Busbud and Distribusion bring booking capability for key European and North American coach operators including National Express, Greyhound, Eurolines, Alsa and Flixbus. Finally, a recent deal with Travelport will see the site offering direct flight bookings in selected markets by early 2017. Explaining the company's strategy in more detail, Rome2rio CEO Rod Cuthbert said “Our multi-modal search capability attracts high-volume and rapidly growing traffic from users with questions like ‘How do I get from Zurich to Frankfurt?’. Answering those queries properly requires a full complement of air, rail, bus, rideshare, ferry and self-drive options, which no other online player offers. We do, and we are seeing growing demand for this complete transportation coverage.” Cuthbert continues, “We’re also seeing growing demand from users to find an online resource they can rely on for booking all of their trip components; that means air, ground, accommodation and activities. We currently enjoy a great relationship with Booking.com for hotel bookings, and we’re now looking to secure agreements for other forms of accommodation, tours and activities. By creating this well-rounded resource, we expect to see continued strong growth in both traffic and revenue, and we expect to become the global leader in the multi-modal bookings sector.” Rome2rio CEO Rod Cuthbert is available for additional commentary. Rome2rio is a comprehensive global trip planner that helps customers discover all the options for travel between any two points on the globe. Enter any town, address or landmark as your destination and Rome2rio will instantly display flight, train, bus, ferry and driving options, with estimated travel times and fares. Founded in 2011, Rome2rio is based in Melbourne, Australia. Rome2rio won the People's Choice Award at the 2012 Phocuswright Travel Innovation Summit, Traveltech's 2013 website of the year, the Data Specialist Award at WITovation 2015 and the Best Compare Award at WITovation 2016.
News Article | December 12, 2016
Durch die Partnerschaft mit dem Buchungssystem BeNe Rail setzt Trainline den Ausbau seines Angebots fort und öffnet sein Portal und Apps für 225 Millionen Reisende in ganz Europa Trainline, Europas führendes unabhängiges Vertriebsportal für Bahntickets, bietet ab sofort Bahntickets für die gesamte Benelux-Region an. Mit dieser Erweiterung setzt Trainline den konsequenten Ausbau seines Angebots in Europa weiter fort. "Unser Ziel ist, das führende unabhängige Portal für Bahntickets in Europa zu sein", sagt Daniel Beutler, General Manager von Trainline International. "Die Benelux-Region befindet sich im Herzen Europas und an der Schnittstelle wichtiger Bahnverbindungen. Die Partnerschaft mit BeNe Rail ist eine gute Nachricht für Reisende in Europa und erfüllt einen wesentlichen Wunsch unserer Kunden. Wir freuen uns, ihnen ein qualitativ hochwertiges Angebot machen können, das die Buchung von Bahntickets in Europa weiter vereinfacht." Die Benelux-Region ist ein zentraler europäischer Eisenbahn-Knotenpunkt und ermöglicht zahlreiche grenzüberschreitende Verbindungen, die Trainline durch seine Partnerschaften mit der Deutschen Bahn, Thalys, und Eurostar bereits anbietet. Die Integration von BeNe Rail stellt den nächsten logischen Schritt dar, indem sie das Angebot in der Region erweitert und vervollständigt. Die neue Partnerschaft baut Trainlines bisheriges Angebot weiter aus und ermöglicht seinen Kunden, jetzt von und zu über 24.000 Bahnhöfen in 24 europäischen Ländern zu reisen, die von 48 Bahnunternehmen angefahren werden, darunter Deutsche Bahn und HKX in Deutschland, SNCF, iDTGV und OUIGO in Frankreich sowie Trenitalia und NTV in Italien. Mit der Angebotserweiterung kommt Trainline seinem Ziel, den Zugang zu Bahnreisen zu vereinfachen und sich als Bahnticketanbieter Nummer 1 in einem 178-Milliarden Euro schweren Markt zu etablieren, einen Schritt näher. Trainline ist Europas führendes unabhängiges Vertriebsportal für Bahntickets. Das Unternehmen verkauft Tickets von 48 Bahnunternehmen in 24 Ländern und vereinfacht dadurch die Mobilität in Europa. Im Durchschnitt werden jeden Tag 100.000 Bahnreisen über seine Webseiten und Apps gebucht. Trainlines One-Stop-Shop für Bahnreisen führt alle europäischen Bahnunternehmen zusammen. Dadurch können Kunden alle Verbindungen einsehen und immer zum günstigsten Preis buchen. BeNe Rail International ist ein 2003 gegründetes Joint-Venture (50/50) zwischen der niederländischen Bahngesellschaft NS und dem belgischen Bahnunternehmen SNCB. BeNe Rail bietet Online-Vertriebsservices für die Bahnunternehmen NS, SNCB und CFL (Luxemburg). Die Online-Plattform von BeNe Rail verkauft mehr als 10 Millionen Tickets pro Jahr. Das Unternehmen ist spezialisiert auf den Vertrieb über unterschiedliche Plattformen und mehrere Anbieter hinweg.
News Article | December 12, 2016
Conectando con el sistema de reservas BeNe Rail, Trainline continúa su estrategia de expansión europea y abre su servicio a más de 225 millones de viajeros potenciales en Europa Trainline, el minorista de billetes de tren independiente líder en Europa, ha anunciado que está ofreciendo billetes a destinos en todo el Benelux mediante su sitio web y aplicaciones móviles. La expansión de la oferta de Trainline en estos países es una clara demostración del continuo compromiso de la compañía para hacer crecer su red en Europa. "El objetivo de Trainline siempre ha sido ser el líder independiente en las ventas de billetes de tren en Europa", dijo Daniel Beutler, director general de Trainline International. "Benelux ocupa una posición central y estratégica en el corazón de Europa y en el eje del ferrocarril europeo, con un gran número de trayectos de tren pasando por estos tres países. La alianza BeNe Rail es una excelente noticia para los viajeros europeos y responde a una demanda muy real de nuestros clientes. Estamos orgullosos de ofrecerles un servicio de calidad para hacer el viaje por el continente aún más fácil". Benelux: una encrucijada en el corazón de Europa Un verdadero cruce de vías europeo, la región de Benelux ofrece conexiones cruzadas entre países ya servidos por Trainline a través de ventas de billetes de Thalys, Deutsche Bahn y Eurostar. Por tanto, era un paso lógico para la empresa integrar Bene Rail y ofrecer un servicio ferroviario más amplio a los viajeros. Esta nueva asociación se basa en la oferta existente de Trainline que ahora permite a sus clientes viajar a y desde más de 24.000 estaciones en 24 países europeos, servidos por 48 compañías ferroviarias, como SNCF iDTGV y Ouigo en Francia, Deutsche Bahn y HKX en Alemania y Trenitalia y NTV en Italia. También confirma las ambiciones mencionadas de Trainline Group de simplificar el acceso al viaje en tren y establecerse como minorista número uno de billetes de tren en el mercado valorado en 178.000 millones de euros. Trainline es el minorista independiente líder en Europa de billetes de tren. Vendemos billetes en todo el mundo en nombre de 48 compañías ferroviarias, ayudando a nuestros clientes a hacer más de 100.000 trayectos más inteligentes cada día en 24 países. Somos una tienda de servicio completo para el viaje en tren, que reúne a las principales compañías ferroviarias en una sola plataforma y ofrece a nuestros clientes un completo conjunto de opciones de viaje. Facilitamos a nuestros clientes la búsqueda del mejor precio para su trayecto. BeNe Rail International es una sociedad conjunta (50/50) fundada en marzo de 2003 por NS y SNCB Railway Undertakings. BeNe RI ofrece servicios de distribución online para las compañías ferroviarias NS, SNCB y CFL. La plataforma online BeNe Rail procesa más de 10 millones de billetes al año. La compañía está especializada en una distribución multiplataforma y multioperador.
News Article | December 19, 2016
Shift2Rail-funded project will work towards harmonising differing rail data systems to improve interoperability Brussels, 19 December 2016 – A new project funded by a €1M grant, after successfully answering to an Open Call of Shift2Rail (S2R-OC-IP4-02-2016), was launched in November with the aim of harmonising the language and data formats used by many railway operators across Europe. ST4RT (Semantic Transformations for Rail Transportation) is the result of an eight-member consortium, coordinated by UNIFE. As one of the main partners of the project, Hit Rail will provide its HEROS platform as a web services interface for some of the work packages and will work alongside its consortium partners including CEFRIEL, D’Appolonia, OLTIS Group, Politecnico di Milano, Trenitalia and UIC. The Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking is a European rail initiative promoting research and innovation into new rail product solutions. The ST4RT project is expected to contribute significantly to Shift2Rail’s Horizon 2020 initiative and more specifically to the 4th Innovation Programme (IT Solutions for Attractive Railway Services), aimed at developing interoperability technologies for multimodal travel solutions towards the goal of achieving the Single European Railway Area (SERA). ST4RT will make use of components from the Shift2Rail Interoperability Framework (IF) initially developed in the IT2Rail “lighthouse” project, extending it for use in the related Shift2Rail projects under the “Shopping, booking and ticketing of multimodal travel solutions (S2R-CFM-IP4-01-2015)” and “Travel companion and tracking services (S2R-CFM-IP4-02-2015)” IP4 calls, called Co-Active and ATTRACkTIVE respectively. ST4RT will additionally provide a use case scenario for exercising the Governance and management structure developed in another project under the related “IF Governance (S2R-OC-IP4-01-2016)” IP4 Open Call called GoF4R. The participants, some of which are also involved in the original consortium of designers for the IF in IT2Rail, will perform work organised in specific work packages focused on fundamental industrial research in semantic web technologies. A cornerstone of the project will be Work Package 5 “Pilot demonstrator of IF Converters,” where a demonstrator will be used to prove the validity and effectiveness of the semantic analysis conducted in the project. The demonstrator will make use of the HEROS platform provided by Hit Rail, a tool presenting a web services interface capable of exchanging XML booking messages, and of converting them into the formats defined by Technical Document B.5 of TAP TSI. Antonio Lopez, General Manager of Hit Rail, said: “We are delighted that work has now started on the ST4RT project which will contribute significantly to improving rail services across Europe. Hit Rail looks forward to providing full support through our HEROS platform and through the work our team will do alongside our partners in the consortium.” About Hit Rail B.V. Hit Rail B.V. is a private Dutch company created in 1990 and owned by 12 European railway companies. Its purpose is to help European railway companies to carry out international projects in related fields of data communications and information technology. Hit Rail is responsible for managing international private data communications infrastructure and message brokering services on behalf of its shareholders and customers. Its services are used by some 40 railway companies from 21 countries. All Hit Rail customers’ data centres and company networks are interconnected by a pan-European IP-based VPN (Virtual Private Network) named Hermes VPN, which is supplied by British Telecom (BT) and managed by Hit Rail. In 2013 the company launched its HEROS platform as a family of solutions that delivers benefits to the railway companies across Europe, by enabling message interoperability across disparate platforms between railway applications in passenger, freight and infrastructure for IT communications. For more information please visit http://www.hitrail.com/ or send an email to email@example.com.