On the tracks of customer information: information broadcast on trains

CFL Group
// 11 May 2023

Destination, next stop, arrival at the station or even unforeseen events… The information broadcast on board of CFL trains on display screens and via automated voice announcements is subject to constant quality control. The CFL employees pull out all the stops, to develop tailor-made technological solutions, to strive for continuous improvement.

“Next stop: Luxembourg, the train’s terminus. “Next stop: Esch-sur-Alzette”. These announcements are an integral part of the rhythm of the journey for CFL customers, either over the train’s loudspeaker or on a display screen in a compartment.

To ensure that all the information broadcast on board the trains is understandable at a glance, a CFL team is on hand every day to manage the “on-board passenger information systems” (SIVE).

These experts plan new announcements according to the planned timetable changes, carry out maintenance operations on the equipment linked to the passenger information in the trains and intervene in the event of a problem or need for updating.

Objective: to provide clear, precise, and timely passenger information in response to customers’ specific needs.

“We ensure the continuous control of the quality of the basic data, because this quality is directly linked to the information provided to our customers. Our work therefore has a direct influence on the user experience and feelings of our customers,” summarises Jérôme Biot, Technical Manager for Onboard Systems, together with his colleague Tom Becker, whom we mentioned earlier.

These efforts are appreciated according to the annual customer satisfaction survey carried out by the CFL, with customers giving high satisfaction scores for the audio announcements and information on the screens in the trains, as well as the assistance provided by the train staff.

“One of our main points of attention is to guarantee the coherence between the different data sets we receive and their compatibility with the different IT systems present on the different series of CFL railcars,” adds Jérôme Biot.

Jérôme Biot.

The employees of the SIVE are the linchpins between the basic timetable data they receive and its transformation into useful information for passengers. When timetables changed, as was the case on 17 April 2023, for example, the two employees in the “Trains et Matériels” department prepared for around 30,000 new data to convert them into comprehensible and useful customer information.

“As we manage the data for four to five timetable changes per year, not including some unplanned timetable changes, we have been thinking about the best technological solution to increase productivity, optimise the analysis of this data and deal with a whole series of errors without having to intervene manually,” adds the man who was hired by the CFL after completing a traineeship that led him to a qualification in electrical engineering.

The result of the initiative: a tailor-made solution at the CFL that minimises errors and thus guarantees an optimal experience for customers, who have correct passenger information for their train journeys.

This intrapreneurial approach is also applied in preparation of the arrival of the new Coradia Stream High Capacity railcars of the CFL (series 2400 and 2450), planned to enter service from 2024. With on-board information systems that take passengers to their destination.


The customer information chain

The CFL employees involved in the passenger information chain work together to ensure optimal distribution through all channels: the user experience, the SIVEs, the Auris automated announcement system, the announcements by train attendants, those responsible for adapting the timetable and feeding the timetable search data into the cfl.lu website and the CFL mobile application, not forgetting the signage in stations and the information specific to the work phases.

CFL Group