News | DistributionA manifesto on rail distribution (because the status quo is apparently broken)This article was originally published onBy Kevin May | October 14, 2015 SilverRail Technologies has taken on the task of outlining what it believes is the future of rail distribution and technology.Its modestly titled "Future of Rail Manifesto" has been created because the company believes there should be a "renaissance of rail" in the industry, not least as the sector continues to struggle with complicated booking systems and distribution.Rail travel, SilverRail argues, is "primed to dominate short and medium haul travel" and therefore the industry should together to figure out methods of streamlining distribution and ticketing.Co-founder and president, Will Phillipson, argues: "The standards that we have outlined are not new; they are the same that pioneered air travel. By applying them to rail we will make the speed, convenience, cost effectiveness and sustainability of rail a viable (if not preferred) option for travellers today. "If, as an industry, we can use these standards to drive customer experience, a lot of great things will become possible."Share this quote So, here are the five "standards": A unified code structure for all train stationsA common method for indexing journeys – so that anyone, anywhere can plan, manage and book a journey no matter where that journey is to or fromA transparent, compliant approach to traveller and journey dataA modern infrastructure for real-time bookingA seamless and convenient solution for ticketing and settlement SilverRail has a powerful argument to push forward such initiatives, it claims. "Even though trains are faster than flights [city centre-to-city centre, anyway], even though trains are cheaper than flights, even though there are way more trains than there are flights, even though trains are just plain better for the environment, and even though the combined benefits of trains represent one of the most important opportunities in corporate travel management today, none of this will matter. "Because one simple flaw threatens to derail every advantage rail has over competing modes of travel."Share this quote This, is argues, is because "the customer experience for rail tickets is broken".The way rail data is structured has led it to being fragmented, duplicated and an "expensive mess", SilverRail claims.As a result, travel managers and distribution companies have to use offline operations that "cost them more than travel content they're booking is worth".In short: "Companies and consumers have to pay the many penalties that come with the painfully slow, manual, hard-to-scale processes needed to plan, book and manage rail journeys."Share this quote NB:Rail image via Shutterstock.