Hacking the Rails: The Journey So Far

Hacking the Rails: The Journey So Far

Jakub Misiorny is a Software Developer for Bloomberg R&D and one of two Bloomberg mentors advising the HackTrain teams on their journey. Here he shares his experiences so far.
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Friday, April 17, 2015 - 8:50am

CAMPAIGN: Bloomberg: Philanthropy & Engagement


Originally posted on Bloomberg Now.

We’re 20 hours into our journey and the HackTrain has reached it’s second stop: the beautiful city of York.

An intense brainstorming and pitching session late last night in fantastic Sheffield co-working space ElectricWorks produced 26 ideas. Teams formed around eight of those concepts and the ‘trainhackers’ spent the first leg of this morning’s journey solidifying their ideas, establishing a strong business case and beginning to build an early version of a working product.

On to York where we’ve spent the afternoon hacking away in the National Railway Museum, surrounded and inspired by examples of some of the most progressive and transformative technologies of the 19th century.

Most teams now have a solid prototype and are in the process of hashing out how to scale and market their solutions. Here are their concepts:

  • Railit: a same day parcel delivery service delivered through railway system.
  • ElasticApp: An indoor visual navigation system which uses real-time video imagery to tell travellers where they are and how to get where the want to be.
  • Donna Alert: A smart train alerts system with intelligent incident impact forecasting designed to take the pain away from train delay.
  • REROO: Allows passengers to search for the cheapest and quickest way to get from A to B when delays are possible by rerouting.
  • Captivate: The WiFi maybe offline but were not! We will deliver content on the train and even in a tunnel. Safe, secure and fast, our technology will guarantee you access to great content anywhere on your journey.
  • Icebreaker: There are hundreds of passengers on most UK trains but most never talk to each other. Icebreaker gives train passengers a more social, entertaining experience. It does this by booking passengers in seats close to like-minded individuals and suggesting topics they can discuss, based on their likes, to “break the ice”.
  • Spon-train-eous: We’re not re-inventing the wheel, we’re taking problems and using them to solve each other: Empty seats, empty towns, and empty weekends. Our service brings people who want an adventure to towns people don’t visit on train-seats people otherwise wouldn’t use. We even suggest local businesses and attractions to try whilst you’re there!
  • Team X: working on a top secret project…

Next stop: Edinburgh!

Follow the HackTrain and discover the latest updates from the rails at www.bloomberg.com/rd/hacktrain.