The new Rail Planner app
In order to improve the travel experience, we have developed the new Rail Planner app, together with Eurail and Greenberry. Whereas the old app was mainly intended to view departure times, the new app focuses on inspiring and creating memories.
During the Design & Discovery phase we presented prototypes and beta versions of the Rail Planner app to Eurailers and Interrailers. We then used their feedback to improve the app, so that we can fully adapt the digital platform according to the preferences of the users.
The app should unburden travellers, before, during and after the journey. That is why all functionalities are also available offline. In addition, Eurail itself can easily add travel information to also serve travellers in other countries. Travellers receive relevant service and marketing news, such as updates to the app, discount promotions and current travel information, via push notifications.
A new, indispensable travel companion
The new Rail Planner app has become an indispensable travel companion. Since the launch of the app, it has been downloaded more than 550,000 times and during the peak season, an average of more than 4,000 travellers were active on the platform every day. In addition, our surveys show that 70 percent of the users make use of the app.
A digital platform turned out to be the success formula for Eurail. That same year, they exceeded all their targets, without the need for any additional marketing budgets.
What Elastique did for EURAIL
Eurail wanted a platform that did more than just sell tickets. During a three-month Design & Discovery phase, we came up with three highlights together: Letting It Stick, Best Trip Ever and Stress Reliever. These three formed the starting point for the platform.
In order to develop the ideal product, we spoke to users, carried out tests and interviewed people in the train. That is how we came up with a product that takes Eurail users further. In the app, users are now also asked for their opinion through surveys to further improve the product.
At Eurail, the challenge lay in the system’s complexity. Elastique designed the platform architecture on which all toolings and external systems came together in one application. All information had to be able to land as efficiently possible with the user and also be available offline.
In order to provide all functionalities, we ran the backend of the platform entirely in AWS and we used Lamda, Cognito, DynamoDB, RDS, AppSync, EC2 and Elastic Beanstalk, among others. The native applications were written in Kotlin (Android) and Swift (iOS). Furthermore, an ‘offline’ timetable has been implemented whereby train journeys can be planned throughout Europe.