The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) was set up by asafwewe

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									About ATOC

What is ATOC?

The Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) is the voice of the passenger rail industry.
Set up in 1994, it fulfils this role both as a trade association, and as a group of ‘schemes’ which act
as the operational engine room of the passenger railway and guarantee the continued benefits of a
national network.

These schemes provide key support services for passengers, including National Rail Enquiries,
passenger fare revenue allocation (through the Rail Settlement Plan), National Rail products such as
railcards, and the network of travel agents selling rail services to the public.

ATOC’s trade association role includes representing train companies to the Government, Office of
Rail Regulation, the media and other opinion formers on transport policy issues and interpreting
government and rail industry policy and planning initiatives for its members.

How ATOC works

ATOC is a membership-based organisation made up of Britain’s 21 franchised train operating
companies, plus Eurostar and Rail Express Systems.

Its work is undertaken through four limited companies.

   i)        ATOC Limited which provides employs the association’s staff and acts as agent for many
             of the schemes.
   ii)       Rail Settlement Plan Limited which manages the ticket revenue and allocation process.
   iii)      National Rail Enquiries Limited which oversees the call centre services and the National
             Rail website.
   iv)       Rail Staff Travel Limited which manages travel arrangements for thousands of rail industry
             employees.

These are all located at ATOC’s office in London together with a number of other key departments
including Commercial, Policy, Railway Planning, Engineering and Communications/Press Office.

Key roles

ATOC acts as the facilitator for many joint activities and as guarantor of ‘network benefits’ for
passengers on behalf of train operators to enable them to comply with their franchise agreements and
operating licences. These benefits include the maintenance of ‘through-ticketing’ across all train
operators, arrangements with Transport for London, settlement of ticket revenues between operators;
the administration and marketing of railcard products - Young Persons, Family, Senior and Disabled
Persons Railcards through advertising, public relations and direct mail generating £400m of rail ticket
sales. Nearly two million railcards are now in use and the number is growing year on year.

ATOC is also responsible for National Rail Enquiries, licensing of travel agents, international rail
travel products such as the BritRail and Inter-Rail passes, and rail staff travel arrangements.

Outside these core statutory areas, ATOC works in many ways to improve the planning, operation,

About ATOC                                      page 1 of 4                                  November 2006
delivery and marketing of rail services.

These include:

   •   Making the purchase of rail tickets easier through the use of the Internet, telesales, travel
       agencies, station booking offices, self-service vending
       machines and the roll-out of the Ticket on Departure fast ticket machines.

   •   Helping to drive industry initiatives on rolling stock strategy, network capacity, supplier
       accreditation, the wheel/rail interface, engineering training, rail safety research and fleet
       reliability.

   •   Looking to the future: ATOC is exploring new ways of retailing and marketing rail by
       exploiting the latest mobile technology.

Passenger Information and retailing

ATOC continues to invest in improvements in passenger information provision through the recently
relaunched National Rail website - including its Journey Planner and its award-winning Live
Departure Boards. The National Rail Enquiries telephone service is Britain’s most called telephone
number with more than 2 million calls per month while the website, www.nationalrail.co.uk ,
attracts 5.5 million hits per month. National Rail Enquiries is also diversifying the range of
information sources for passengers reflecting ever-changing technology by making journey
information available by mobile phone, WAP and SMS services.

During 2006, the National Rail Enquiries team enhanced the automated telephone service
TrainTracker™, which provides simple, real-time train arrival and departure information for
multiple leg train services. Users can also use the service to plan journeys up to 12 weeks in
advance. TrainTracker™ uses state-of-the-art speech recognition and touch-tone technology to help
passengers get the information they need very fast.

Rail Settlement Plan Ltd is developing new technologies for ticketing, as part of an exciting new
vision for retailing for passengers. It has engaged two technology suppliers to develop and evaluate
ideas for ticket-to-mobile technology for use on the railways. In addition ATOC will be issuing
Official Journal of the European Union Periodic Indicative Notice (EU-PIN) to pre-qualify
suppliers for the development and evaluation of technologies for home printing of tickets.

LENNON, (Latest Earnings Networked Nationally Over Night) is one of the world’s largest
transport revenue settlement systems. Managed by ATOC, it collates and allocates all the revenue
raised from ticket sales to each train operator. It also provides valuable information to train
operators on their passengers’ travel patterns and habits. For passengers, it means a greater range of
tickets, including more cut-price deals.

Planning

With the future size and shape of railway now being examined through the Route Utilisation
Studies (RUS), a process led by Network Rail, ATOC’s Rail Planning Support Team coordinates
non-lead TOC input into these.

In addition, the team has been given the role of recommending small scale investments in order to

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cope with projected growth. The team has also contributed to the Government’s Regional Planning
Assessments – providing ‘best practice’ input into local assessments of regional transport needs.

The overall objective of the team is the promotion of efficient railway planning that deliver
Government transport objectives whilst meeting growing rail passenger and freight requirement and
minimising costs. Their remit from ATOCs members is to agree planning objectives and "lines to
take" on contentious planning issues and to be a forum for discussion, communication, exchange of
views and encouragement of best practice in railway planning.


What’s new?
   •   ATOC has been working with industry partners in cross industry planning forums and in
       particular, the Route Utilisation Strategies, together with input into the Department for
       Transport’s High Level Outputs Statement which is due out in 2007.

   •   ATOC has not been shy of submitting evidence to numerous House of Commons Select
       Committee inquiries and speaking up for train operators – on fares, on stations, franchising,
       car parking,, and on the London Olympics to name but a few.

   •   ATOC has contributed to the Eddington Review, making the case for rail. The report,
       expected towards the end of 2006, will set out a long term vision for transport in the UK.

   •   Working with the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), ATOC in actively involved in
       planning transport links for the 2012 London Olympics on behalf of its members.

   •   On fares, ATOC has been at the forefront of fares simplification working with train
       operators. National Rail Enquires have simplified the online journey planner to show only
       the train fares that are available for the times passengers select. In London ATOC, has been
       working on behalf of its members to implement the government’s requirement for a
       zonalised fares structure from January 2007.

   •   ATOC has set up a Disability Rail Advisory Group to provide train companies which will
       provide a direct link to the thoughts of disabled people in relation to how rail services for
       them can be improved. In September 2006, ATOC relaunched the Disability Railcard and
       also added a new Three Year Card option.

   •   ATOC’s Ten Year European Rail Growth Trends study in 2006 provided continued proof
       that Britain still has Europe’s fastest growing railway. Over the past ten years the number of
       passenger kilometres travelled on Britain’s railways rose to 43 billion in 2005/6, an increase
       of 42% over the last decade - higher than in any other country in Western and Central
       Europe.




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Key contacts

Chairman:                                  Adrian Shooter
Director General:                          George Muir
Director of Policy & Regulation:           Alec McTavish
Director of Communications:                Edward Funnell
Acting Engineering Director:               Ian Papworth
Director of Public Policy:                 Chris Austin
Director Production Support:               Steve Bence
Director Industry Projects:                David Weir
Director Systems & Standards:              Richard Lockett
Chief Executive, National Rail Enquires:   Chris Scoggins
Chief Executive, Rail Settlement Plan:     Anthony Lain
Commercial Director:                       David Mapp
Director London:                           Steve Howes

Association of Train Operating Companies
40 Bernard Street
London
WC1N 1BY
Telephone: 020 7841 8000
Websites:      www.atoc.org,
               www.atoc-comms.org
               www.nationalrail.co.uk




About ATOC                                 page 4 of 4       November 2006

								
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