The “misery line” train service into London from Southend may finally shake off its name if a new scheme from mobile phone operator Vodafone catches on.
A new message system, devised by Vodafone’s messaging division Vodata, will give train commuters up-to-the-minute information through their mobile phones on train delays at crucial times of the day.
The pilot will be with LTS, which operates the so-called “misery line”, but other train operators are expected to join the scheme.
Mike Lees, business group director at marketing consultancy STH which devised the new programme, says that the service allows commuters to subscribe to information about trains on specific lines.
The information is broadcast to Vodafone digital subscribers.
“It means commuters don’t have to waste time standing around platforms waiting for trains that are delayed or cancelled,” says Lees.
“If you were about to set off for the station you could simply push your messaging button and it would give you instant information on a late or cancelled train,” he adds.
Commuters will simply register themselves to a particular train service and will gain immediate information on all delays being experienced on their line.
A subscriber will be able to get information between certain hours of the day, such as at peak times between 7am and 9am or 5pm and 8pm.
Other potential areas for development include motorway information and weather reports.