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Rail passengers to benefit from new GPS technology as early as next month

New technology will start to be rolled out across the UK rail network next year, reducing the number of trains suddenly switching from “on time” to “delayed” and helping customers to find seats on busy trains. 

GPS-led information systems will be introduced from January across Chiltern, Grand Central, LNER and parts of Northern and ScotRail, meaning those operators will be better able to track their trains, industry body the Rail Delivery Group said. 

Currently a train’s location can only be measured at fixed points, which can be as much as five miles apart, but GPS train tracking is expected to be accurate to a few metres. 

The new GPS data will be made available to journey planning apps, such as CityMapper, meaning those apps will then find it easier to reroute passengers during disruption. The systems will be delivered across all trains and the whole network by 2024.

Rail Delivery Group’s Jacqueline Starr said: “In 2019, technology will continue to transform the way we travel by train, as the railway introduces new innovations to provide more useful, up-to-date and personalised information at people’s fingertips.”