Our history

Following the privatisation of British Rail in 1996, all Train Companies (TOCs) were required to offer a telephone enquiry service to members of the public to call for information about travelling by train. National Rail Enquiries was formed and took responsibility for all the telephone enquiry bureaux that were spread across the National Rail network.

To make finding information about rail travel as simple as possible, a single local rate telephone number was established –  03457 48 49 50 - which directed the caller to their nearest telephone enquiry bureau. The business was later streamlined, with the many bureaux merged to become regional contact centres. We’ve come a long way since those early days.

 1993  ATOC formed by the Railways Act
 1996  National Rail Enquiries formed
 2003 The full interactive website was launched and offered customers train time and fare information through the ‘Online Journey Planner’ and real time train running information through the ‘Live Departure Boards’.
 2004 Call centre in Mumbai established and a speech recognition channel - TrainTracker™ - launched
 2005 TrainTracker™ Text (SMS Enquiry service launched)
Self service enquiries overtook telephone enquiries for the first time
 2006 World First: Real Time Journey Planner launched through TrainTracker™
 2007 LISA, the world's first video-based virtual assistant , Pocket Timetable, Season Ticket calculator and mobile version of Journey Planner launched
 2008 Real time online Journey Planner together with services which offer personalisation launched
2009 24 x 7 Twitter service for service disruption. New look of the NRE Website
2010 Journey planning to and from London Underground Zone 1 and DLR stations and National Rail stations introduced
2011 Journey planning to and from a GB postcode using National Rail stations in the vicinity. New mobile website http://m.nationalrail.co.uk launched
2012 Mobile Apps for Android and iPhone introduced. Release of Smart TV app and Windows 8 Live Tile
2013 Our latest addition to the NRE family – the iPad app