Czech Railways is the national railway operator in the Czech Republic and has been a strong player in the national transportation market since its origin in 1918. As a public transport operator, it has been actively investing in the digitization of passenger experience since 2012 in order to offer premium services in the highly competitive market shared with several private operators.


Its international Pendolino trains were the first cars in Central Europe where passengers could enjoy an onboard infotainment portal with real-time travel information, movies, music, books, games, and audiobooks. Together with Passengera, Czech Railways are now working on centralization of digital services leveraging control, and lowering costs.


More than 90 percent of all long-distance trains operated by Czech Railways are connected to the internet thanks to the solution made by Passengera that has been deployed on international lines. It brings reliable internet connectivity and onboard infotainment to the passengers while allowing the operator to manage all deployed digital services centrally.

Passengera helps Czech Railways to solve several issues that complicate the digitization of the passenger experience on such a large scale. Let’s look at the 5 biggest successes in their 10-years-long cooperation.


Multiple hardware centralization

Czech Railways operates more than 7,700 trains every day, locally and internationally. With such size and complexity, it’s challenging to maintain full control of digital services over the whole fleet, considering tens of train types equipped with hardware made by different manufacturers. Tasks like monitoring onboard internet connectivity quality provided by several vendors, maintaining various levels of passenger digital experience based on the train and service type, and managing promotion campaigns across the fleet have become highly complicated.

Scattered management makes it impossible to monitor and expand digital services throughout the whole fleet effectively. Passengera makes this task possible by integrating connectivity gateways into its central Management & Monitoring Suite (MMS). It enables the operator to monitor not only the Passengera G7 gateways for trains but also other vendors’ gateways and networking equipment under one umbrella.

Wi-Fi data packages

The central solution opens the doors to major innovations in digital services that improve the overall passenger experience, such as unified authentication through multiple devices allowing the operator to centrally manage Wi-Fi accesses, advertising campaigns, and data packages.

The over-consumption of mobile data on certain routes is another example of recent challenges successfully solved by the Passengera’s central management system. Newly introduced packages respect specifics of different train types and different countries, effectively managing data consumption via multiple SIM cards. Packages classes can be set up based on geolocation as mobile data tariffs vary significantly in European countries.

Retrofitting old trains

Another area where unified multi-service onboard devices bring benefits is retrofitting the older trains and carriages. Older trains often do not provide sufficient room or power budget to incorporate a wide range of digital services, which frequently require the installation of duplicate hardware supplied by different vendors.

Such reconstruction was necessary even for flag-ship Pendolinos trains in 2022, where now a single Passengera G7 multi-service gateway provides all services like internet connectivity, infotainment application hosting, passenger infotainment system (PIS) on screens, and monetization platform for the whole train, including the processing of selected telemetric services data. The all-in-one solution saves space, energy, and eventually even cost.


Unlocking onboard screens potential

Onboard screens that were previously limited to displaying PIS information only can now be used as a passenger information system (PIS) able to display various multimedia like photos and videos at the same time while managed through a single Control Management System (CMS). Passengera’s CMS solution helps the operator to unlock the full potential of onboard displays and enhance this communication channel with passengers.

Let’s have a look at an example of how can Czech Railways use the Passengera solution integrating selected screens by various manufacturers into the central CMS from where the content is broadcast onboard trains via dynamic playlists based on location or time. On screens, real-time information from PIS like connecting trains, advice on how to connect to Wi-Fi, promotion of additional services, and assistance to passengers with orientation on board rotates automatically.


Re-thinking onboard comfort

Traditionally, passengers were used to paper flyers informing them about the services available on board and stewards regularly visiting them at their seats during the journey. With the ongoing digitization of passengers’ experience, these methods have become unjustifiably cost and time ineffective, especially when it comes to regular updates requiring reprinting thousands of hard copies and promo materials.

Passengers now can find all information related to their train type in the infotainment platform, where they are dynamically updated through a captive portal. This way also enables the operator to target promoted services precisely to passengers’ needs.

Food ordering through a digital kiosk eliminates crowded dining cars and long queues of passengers that would have to stumble through the whole train with their belongings. Passengers can easily order meals, snacks, and beverages straight from their seats to where it’s delivered soon after. The orders are then distributed by the onboard personnel, who have their own food order processing application helping them deliver orders to the right seats. This solution boosts sales, decreases personnel workload, improves passenger comfort, and helps operators get insights into revenue volumes, customer preferences, and other statistics.

Future of public transport

The project of improving passengers’ digital experience between Czech Railways and Passengera is an example of the direction where public transport is evolving. Smooth internet connectivity and the array of digital services have become essential factors in customers’ decision-making. For operators, offering maximum comfort for work and entertainment is crucial as a lower price is not enough to beat the competition.

Innovation, modernization, and digitization are the most important values allowing Czech Railways to keep raising the quality of onboard services and pioneering public transportation towards the digital future.