AN ALLIANCE of English Welsh & Scottish Railway and Thales, which was formed to offer information technology services to European rail operators, has won a five-year contract to manage real-time information in the UK.

The alliance will run Britain’s National Rail Communication Centre, which collates and distributes live information on service alterations and engineering works. It also provides updates on products offered and promotions being run by train operating companies. Information is supplied to rail companies, the National Rail Enquiries Service and the media. The four NRES call centres receive around 43 million enquiries per year, and the website has 55 million visits.

The EWS and Thales Alliance also offers service desk and hosting services, consultancy and outsourcing. ’The alliance with Thales UK is a significant development in the supply of information technology solutions for the transport sector, and a major expansion in the range of services provided by the EWS group of companies’ said Keith Heller, CEO of the freight operator.