The CEOs agreed to run the project jointly with ticket vendors associations, the European Technology and Travel Services Association (ETTSA), the European Travel Agents' and Tour Operators Association (ECTAA) and the Guild of European Business Travel Agents (Gebta). The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) will support the project in an advisory capacity.
The project aims to make it easier for railways and third-party ticket vendors to display accurate and transparent data about available rail products while respecting distributors' commercial freedom. It will focus on identifying requirements for IT infrastructure to provide interoperable distribution of information to passengers with the intention of offering easier and faster access to travel information services from a wider range of sources.
The project is expected to start in the autumn and will be completed by the end of 2014.
"This agreement is a powerful signal for European rail passengers that its railways are ready to embrace innovative technologies in order to further enhance their services," says Mr Marc Descheemaecker, CEO of Belgian National Railways (SNCB) and chairman of the High Level Passenger group.