HackTrain: The Journey Continues

Apr 14, 2015 3:50 PM ET

Originally posted on Bloomberg Now

Last month, 40 developers from across Europe travelled over 800 miles in 56 hours on a quest to revolutionise the rail industry.

Powered by Bloomberg, HackTrain and its contestants produced a host of working prototypes addressing some of the problems facing the UK’s rail companies and their passengers.

The winning team designed, developed and showcased ‘Reroo’ – an app that applies a smart graph algorithm to existing open data timetable systems, allowing rail passengers to find cheap alternative travel routes.

Other innovative solutions created along the way included ‘Elastic’, a hyper-lapse visual navigation map for indoor spaces, ‘Captivate’, an on-board entertainment cloud and an app to help ‘walk-up’ passengers without pre-booked tickets to find empty seats using iBeacons.

This week, the train hackers will reconvene at Europe’s largest technology accelerator – Level39 in London – to pitch their ideas once again, this time to investors and rail industry business heads.

“HackTrain produced some great ideas offering tangible solutions to real-world problems, ” said Paul Williams, HackTrain judge and Bloomberg London R&D’s Head of Software Infrastructure. “I’m looking forward to the next phase of the journey: seeing how these groups of talented developers work with the UK rail industry to turn their prototypes into real products.”