Virgin Trains Selects the Schlumberger AVANTIX* Mobile Ticketing Solution For West Coast And Cross Country Lines

LONDON, September 9, 2003 - SchlumbergerSema, the Information Technology (IT) business segment of Schlumberger Limited, today announced that Virgin Trains has selected AVANTIX Mobile, its mobile ticketing solution, to replace the current fleet of machines and paper based systems. Schlumberger will be implementing the infrastructure across the Virgin West Coast and Cross Country networks over the next six months to support over 300 devices.
For Virgin Trains operating services right across the country from Aberdeen to Plymouth and in remote locations where stations are not always staffed, it is critical that their train staff can easily sell tickets for all journeys and answer passengers’ travel queries. AVANTIX Mobile technology provides train staff with fast, easy access to fare and timetable information and enables them to issue tickets from anywhere to anywhere including season tickets, without having to refer to bulky manuals. All tickets are magnetically encoded so that they can open barriers at stations and on the London Underground, and devices will be Chip & PIN enabled during 2004, ensuring that Virgin Trains is ready for the new UK standard credit card payment in 2005.

"These new AVANTIX Mobile machines will enable our Train Managers to carry out their customer service duties more efficiently," said Chris Green, Chief Executive, Virgin Trains. "The issuing of tickets and provision of information on train times will be far easier."

Virgin Trains will benefit from a system which can be efficiently configured and controlled from a central location and which feeds data from its use back to central Virgin Trains locations enabling effective management of the total retail cycle.

AVANTIX Mobile also enables Virgin Trains to automate its passenger counts. The device will prompt train staff when a count is to be executed and then provides the train layout against which the count can be entered. The train staff input the passenger count data and at the end of the day that information is downloaded to a central Virgin Trains database where it is collated. This provides Virgin Trains, within 24 hours, a complete analysis of passenger numbers to support their yield management processes.

"Virgin Trains' commitment to AVANTIX Mobile demonstrates that this product represents the future of mobile ticketing in the UK for Train Operating Companies who want to deliver the best service to their passengers while maximizing their back office functions," said Dominic Arcari, director of transport, SchlumbergerSema.

Schlumberger has over 35 years proven expertise implementing and managing the complex IT systems that underpin the transport industry and is at the forefront in the development of complete solutions for integrated, multi-modal transport. Through the implementation of technology enabled solutions, consulting, systems integration and managed services, Schlumberger delivers end-to-end services across the whole business process, enabling passengers to buy tickets, make seamless connections, travel faster, and above all, receive accurate and reliable information for the entire journey.
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