ATOC uses National Rail as a basic umbrella term to help define passenger rail services that are operated in Great Britain, prior to the adoption of National Rail, another term was used. It used to be that “Great Britain Passenger Railway” was the term used. ATOC is an acronym for the Association of Train Operating Companies. ATOC is actually not even incorporated, and it is an association who has a base of members that consist of the TOCs of Great Britain that operate the passenger services provided by the British Railways Board previously, from 1965 under the brand name British Rail. TOC is an acronym for train operating company. National Rail usually doesn’t entail services that don’t have a British Rail history; this is an important distinction, and it is crucial because National Rail services have a shared ticketing structure and inter-availability that do not extend to other services necessarily.
The logo for National Rail (NR) was first unveiled by ATOC in 1999, and it was then used on the public timetable in Great Britain for the very time in the edition that was valid from September 26th in that year. Some rules for its use are listed in the Corporate Identity Style Guidelines put out by ATOC, which are available on their website. The National Rail title is usually described as a kind of “brand”, but that designation is not right according to ATOC manuals. The guidelines for the year 2000 said: “It has not been designed as an identity or brand, but to explain to train travelers that there is a National Railway network and that material carrying this description applies to all passenger Train Companies. The ongoing and consistent application of the National Rail logo on maps and signs, however, guides travelers to railway stations. Because it was used by British Rail, the only operator before franchising, its use also entails public familiarity and continuity; and it get rids of the idea of getting new signage.
Network Rail And National Rail
Network Rail should definitely not be confused with National Rail. National Rail is a title, and it is used to promote railway services for passengers, and offering some cross-coordination for passengers (such as tickets to terminals in London), and Network Rail is the company that owners and manages the majority of the fixed assets (signals, tracks, etc.) of the railway network.
This network pair generally runs alongside one another where passenger services are run. The majority of Network Rail lines carry a lot of freight traffic and some lines just carry freight. There are some passenger services that run on their own non-Network, privately managed Rail lines, for instance Heathrow Express which also partially runs on Network Rail, and in some places the London Underground overlaps.
TOCs (Train Operating Companies)
There are roughly twenty train-operating companies that are privately owned, and each of them Is franchised for a defined period of time by the government and they operate trains for passengers on the main rail network in Great Britain. ATOC represents the TOCs, and it is the primary trade association involved with their representation. It also offers core services, which include National Rail Enquiries service provision. This organization also runs Rail Settlement Plan, which sets aside ticket revenue to the different TOCs, and Rail Staff Travel, which operates travel facilities for railway staff. It doesn’t compile the national timetable, which is the co-responsibility of the Office of Rail Regulation (path allocation) and Network Rail (publication and timetable production).
Marketing And Design
Because of the privatization of British Rail, there isn’t a distinct approach to design on railways in Great Britain anymore. The signage has no cohesive look and feel. The marketing material and liveries is basically the preserve of the separate TOCs.
However, National Rail has continued to the famous double-arrow symbol from British Rail, designed by an employee of the Design Research Unit, Gerald Burney. It has already been incorporated in the National Rail logotype, and it is on display on tickets, as well. It is also seen on the National Rail website and other publicity. The double arrow symbol has trademark rights that are state-owned, and they are held by the Secretary of State for Transport.
It is highly probable that the ongoing use of the symbol right after privatization had a lot more to do with ease and convenience, rather than design: changing it would have made all the road signs used to indicate railway stations obsolete. The individual operators wouldn’t have any more right than any other company for their “ad” to show up on traffic signs, whereas the double arrow was prescribed prior to that for indicating a “railway station”. The symbol has had somewhat of a burgeoning and rebirth, and new stations have it on display now.
The lettering that was in use for the national Rail logotype is a tweaked version of the typeface Sassoon Bold. Some companies who operate trains still use the old British Rail Alphabet lettering to some degree in station signage, but its use not universal anymore. However, it is still compulsory (under Railway Group Standards) for safety signage in trackside areas, and it is still common (even though it’s not universal) on rolling stock.
It is a bit of misconception that Rail Alphabet was used for printed material, as well. However, with the exception of logos (“British Rail”, etc.) this was never the case. The typefaces of choice for British Rail from 1965 were Univers and Helvetica, with others (especially Fruitger) getting used throughout the sectorization period after 1983. TOCs can use what they want to: examples include Bliss, Frutiger, FirstGroup, Helvetica, and Futura.
Even though TOCs compete with one another for franchises, and for passengers on routes where more than one train operating company operates, the strapline used with the NR logo is “Britain’s train companies coming together”.
National Rail Enquiries – Official Source For UK Train Times And Timetables
The National Rail Enquiries website is www.nationalrail.co.uk. The website has a journey planner, live departures, and live arrival tab.
On the ‘Journey Planner’, you can put in your from station / postcode, your to station / postcode, when you’re leaving and what time, and when you’re returning and what time. Then, you just click ‘go’. You can see your recent and favorite journeys by creating an account or signing in if you already have an account.
The live departures tab lets you put in a from station name / code and a to station name / code.
There is also a section for ‘Special Offers’ section on the site.
The site has more than 36,000 Facebook likes. The site has a strong social presence. National Rail Enquiries is a very popular site on social media.
What is the National Rail Enquiries website all about?
The site is the main source of customer information for all passenger rail services on the National Rail network in Scotland, Wales, and England. National Rail Enquiries is part of ATOC (Association of Train Operating Companies, which offers business services to the Train Operating Companies.
The company handles approximately two and a half million journey planning enquiries each week day through their contact center, website, mobile apps, and through information services from 3rd parties. They offer a range of rail-related information, fares information, real-time information, ticket sales, and journey planning to rail customers.
Some quick statistics and facts about National Rail Enquiries help to quickly explain what the company is about and what the site does. National Rail Enquiries has evolved from a contact center company to an award-winning multi-channel customer service company. Here’s a little snapshot of the success of the company.
• Number one travel and transport website • Almost 30 awards • Over 350 million contacts in the last year • Over 30 million third-party contacts • Over three million downloads of smart phone apps • Registered followers and customers 1.3 million and counting • 17 million individuals used the service in the last year
National Rail Enquiries listens to their customers. Customer feedback is very important to them. Even last year alone there were over 70,000 customers who took part in surveys to tell the company what they liked and disliked about their service.
As well as the survey comments, the company also closely monitors feedback (bad and good) gotten through the Customer Relations Department, their ‘Community’ channel, Twitter, and Facebook.
Changes are always ongoing, and they are being introduced because of customer feedback, and the company is always making enhancements to their website and letting their customers know about them.
National Rail is a company known all over Great Britain, and it handles millions of customers each year. If you ever need to travel in Great Britain, check out their website and set up a trip. It’s highly affordable, and you won’t regret traveling on one of the most well-known and revered rail services in the entire world. In fact, it’s worth visiting Great Britain just to get a chance to travel on the rail line. It’s one of the best passenger rail services in the world.
Company Address: Post: National Rail Enquiries Customer Relations FREEPOST RSEH-TBGE-HBJJ Plymouth PL4 6AB