Rail passengers can receive WhatsApp alerts if trains are delayed or cancelled

3 September 2021, 00:02

Rail passengers can sign up to be alerted if their train is delayed or cancelled.
Rail passengers can sign up to be alerted if their train is delayed or cancelled. Picture: Alamy

By Elizabeth Haigh

Rail passengers can now receive notifications on WhatsApp informing them if their train is delayed or cancelled.

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG), a rail industry body, has said that travellers can receive information about disruption, alternative travel routes and how busy carriages are expected to be through the messaging app.

Previously, passengers could receive these updates only through Facebook Messenger.

To use the service, passengers should go to the National Rail Enquiries website and click "Keep me updated by WhatsApp".

The updates are designed to help those returning to work and school as the summer holidays come to an end.

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During the pandemic, around three million tailored journey updates were sent to rail passengers.

RDG chief executive Jacqueline Starr 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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She also announced that customers who choose a less busy service as an alternative to a busy one could be eligible for a free drink or snack "as part of a retail pilot that we're exploring as one of the ways to incentivise people back to rail".

Rail minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: "This is a brilliant new way of making rail journeys even easier.

"By sending helpful updates through the apps people already use, passengers can get the information they need quickly, simply and wherever they are on the rail network."