Today, 75 percent of our customers book their journey online. If trains are to become a real alternative to aircraft, train bookings must be made available like in the airline business. As of today, there is no cooperation between the railway companies that makes this possible. On the contrary, we experience strong national companies, competing against each other.
At the same time as we have developed solutions for ordering train tickets in Scandinavia, we have easily been able to find lights and lanterns for technical solutions to book trains in and throughout Europe – and preferably in Japan, China and the USA as well. We have held meetings with technology suppliers and negotiated with several train companies. But it is not easy to put in place a solution that allows you to travel on rails across borders. And when we want to avoid paper tickets and cash settlement, it’s even harder.
The railway have much to learn from the airlines
The airlines have adapted to settlement standards, ticketing systems and booking solutions across borders and between companies. IATA, the airline’s organization, has 290 airlines as members and manages 82 percent of all air traffic in the world.
We therefore need an «IATA» in the railway-business. An organization and a joint initiative that can coordinate the various train operators in Europe. Setting standards that make it easier for us to provide trains to our customers with good solutions for both booking, settlement and ticketing.
The initiative must be European where the train companies are forced to open the latest systems and be able to sell across. I think the solution to the initiative lies with the EU and Norway as a nation must influence the EU to get this in place.
Easy to choose right
The future is about making it easy for our customers to compare travel time, price and climate footprint per carrier – making it easy to choose the right one. Both where trains are an alternative to airplanes and where there is a supplement to get from door to door. Offering a sustainable alternative for your next trip with colleagues, friends or families is the future! It’s a requirement from the customer – and it’s a requirement from us.
Berg-Hansen will work purposefully and actively for holistic solutions! On our own initiative and together with trade associations, we will do what we can to put in place absolutely necessary systems and regulations.