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Mistral - train orientation solution

The brief

A solution was required to improve the accuracy of orientation information, previously unavailable from any system for TPE, SWR and GWR. The display of train orientation is often incorrect, which can lead to inaccurate information displayed in customer facing downstream systems such as customer information screens (CIS), Customer Apps and Websites. 

What we did

Across the rail industry, there are several systems being used at different TOCs, covering various operational objectives. Mistral unites the different systems and provides a real time data sharing platform.

Implementing Mistral enables for the flow of information from the train to the back office and is the only solution that has the capability to blend previously separated allocation, service, on-train, and employee apps - together in one place. 

Tom Grant, Mistral Data Technical Director said of the project, “We confirmed that TOC allocation systems can track unit and vehicle positions, but accuracy depends on manual processes and observations. This is particularly unreliable during disruption. Mistral determines this based on real-time data from the trains, ensuring the most up to date information and orientation is available.”

Using the GSMR feed made available from Network Rail, the Mistral system is able to infer the correct orientation of the train when the driver signs into their radio.

Hundreds of manual observations across the network were taken by TOC representatives to compare the orientation displayed in industry systems (primarily via CIS screens) and Mistral orientation via a UAT version of the Customer App, which utilised the Mistral API feed.

Mistral successfully uses logic to infer the orientation and sends this information to TOC customers who in turn can confidently display accurate information in their customer facing downstream systems, consistently from a single source.