London-based rail technology start-up, JNCTION, has launched an app for railway operators helping to minimise service disruption, thanks to a six-figure funding package from NatWest.
After winning a government-backed innovation project contract in June 2019 to develop the app, the £111,000 finance from NatWest has enabled JNCTION to officially launch the Decision Support Tool less than a year later.
The app will help train operators across the UK to react quickly and efficiently to day-to-day service disruptions by using the programme’s AI and machine learning technology to suggest the best way to return services to the normal timetable.
The Decision Support Tool will virtually assist control teams to reliably move trains to where they are needed, reduce the impact of late running services and improve passenger satisfaction. A leading operator is already trialling the app during the current lockdown, with the view to adopting it once regular services are back up and running.
JNCTION is run by the team at Artonezero, a B2B digital and technical solutions agency launched by Mike Lloyd in 2006. With more than 25 years’ experience in developing innovative solutions, Mike launched JNCTION in 2016 to use digital technologies to improve operations in the rail sector.
JNCTION has already developed a number of apps to improve rail services for both operators and customers including Aubin, a journey planner app for autistic people.
Mike Lloyd, Chief Executive Officer at JNCTION, said: “Although we won a £250,000 grant in the Government’s Innovate UK competition, under the public sector contract rules we had to start operations before securing the funding.
“With the costs of our staff, consultants and overheads to pay upfront at the start of the project, we wouldn’t have been able to launch the app without the support from NatWest. Major train operators are already trialling the app and we hope to help more companies deliver a more punctual service and improve passenger satisfaction in the future.”
ASC Finance introduced Mike to Ben Davey, NatWest Broker Development Manager and David Parker, NatWest Relationship Manager.
David said: “The tool Mike and his team have developed will help the rail industry to significantly improve operations and I look forward to seeing JNCTION increase the number of users across the industry.”