rail: a viable alternative of modern travel 

on the 27th of October, Leen Dewicke, product manager commerce, and Mark Mallants, director of benerail, took centre stage at BATM‘s exclusive rail-focused event in Europe. Their presentation covered pivotal aspects of carefree travel, retail enhancements, and the evolving landscape of regulation versus industry dynamics in the rail sector. This article delves deeper into their insights and proposals presented at the event.

carefree travel 

empowering agents and travellers with choice 

Agents and travellers must be empowered in their choice for rail to be viable. To have choice means that there must be supply. And more supply means one of two things: more trains or more destinations.  

In the coming year, we welcome additional InterCity services between the capitals of Belgium and The Netherlands in combination with revenue-managed fares, optional reservations, and more. Soon, passengers can take up to 16 daily trains from Brussels to Rotterdam or Amsterdam. 

At the end of 2023, new InterCity services to Germany will be introduced, focusing on the Aachen route, while a Köln extension is in the preparation phase. Furthermore, European Sleeper is expanding their night train services to Berlin and Vienna. This growing range of services lets travellers control their journeys, ensuring they have options that best suit their needs. 

improving the travel experience 

Unlike other modes of long-distance transport, like airlines, where experiences and processes are perceived as more predictable, comfortable, and trustworthy, international rail is still challenging. The rail traveller feels insufficient control over their rail journey, creating uncertainty, inhibiting a carefree travel experience, and failing to attract and retain new customers.  

The challenge of benerail? To provide the best possible experience by proactively assisting and guiding the traveller throughout the customer journey with personalised information and trusted online services. 

carefree retail 

putting booker and traveller in control 

Benerail and stakeholders SNCB and NS are also dedicated to providing bookers and travellers control over their journey. Long-awaited improvements in the customer experience are coming up, including:  

  • 12 months booking horizon for trains 
  • Easy access to up-to-date timetable information 
  • Disruption support 

These are all part of the CER (Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies) ticketing roadmap, endorsed by the railway industry and the European Passenger Federation.  

carefree booking and handling for corporations 

Benerail understands that clients want more than just booking and ticketing. We aspire to provide an end-to-end solution that encompasses everything from data exchange for corporate tools to CO2 reporting, duty of care, compensation handling, and back- and mid-office integration. By introducing new technology and access to European standards, such as moove_api, web-based expert interfaces, and e-ticketing, benerail enables a seamless and carefree experience for travellers. 

regulation versus industry?  

The future of carefree retail may lie in Multimodal Digital Mobility Services (MDMS). As that legislation is still in draft, we are uncertain about the content. Still, we have some expectations: The MDMS might create an equal playing field where every party will negotiate their contracts with carriers. But do we need this legislation? We’ve seen multiple examples of the industry taking legal action independently.   

we drive your journey 

Are you looking for a solution to sell rail with a modern booking system adhering to the new European standards? We can streamline your sales and book train journeys across Europe with our API or front end. Choose moove_api, our incredibly user-friendly API platform with integrated scheduling, inventory management, pricing, distribution and ticketing functionality. Or boot up our web-based expert front-end to start selling rail right away.  

We believe that technology should enable business processes and commercial freedom. Through benerail’s expansive communities, our platform, on the one hand, simplifies access to all carriers via a single commercial contract. On the other hand, we grant you flexibility in settling your own commercial relationships with distributors. 

Want to get a feel of our platform?  
Contact us, and we’ll get in touch for more information or a demonstration.