INTERNATIONAL: A centralised system for the real-time exchange of ticket control information has been launched to enable rail ticket issuers and carriers around the world to increase their electronic ticketing capabilities and prevent fraud.

The Electronic Ticket Control Database has been developed by not-for-profit European rail industry IT and data exchange company Hit Rail under a five-year software-as-a-service contract awarded by the International Union of Railways. This follows the agreement of a common specification for the exchange of ticket control data, with the central implementation intended to simplify and lower the cost of deployment.

Several European issuers and passenger operators are now using ETCD, which went live in February.

‘In combination with MERITS timetables, PRIFIS prices and Hermes reservations, ETCD control will complete the UIC IT distribution framework to offer to all European members a cost efficient, robust and standard solution for international rail ticket business’, said UIC Passenger Director Marc Guigon on May 19.

Hit Rail’s Technical Director Enrique Ruiz said ETCD was ‘a major technological leap forward into using leading edge cloud services, such as serverless applications and cloud databases, to deliver a robust and secure service potentially involving millions of railway tickets.’