Latest in Gear

Image credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Trainline is using big data to predict when ticket prices rise

Its new in-app tool could provide some clarity on when you should book that ticket.
Matt Brian, @m4tt
09.06.17 in Mobile
268 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

Bloomberg via Getty Images

Just like flights, hotels and Uber rides, train ticket prices rise when rail operators anticipate there will be increased demand for their services. It often leaves passengers scrambling to find a combination of tickets that won't break the bank, even when they're booking weeks before they travel. Train companies obviously want to protect profits by keeping their pricing structures a secret, but independent ticket retailer The Trainline believes it can now accurately predict when things will start to get expensive.

Appearing in The Trainline app from today, the Price Prediction tool uses the company's "billions of data points" to suggest when ticket prices will rise. When a user performs a search for a specific route, the app will list the cheapest price, indicate when the route could sell out and then list incremental price changes depending on the date of booking.

"Our data scientists have used historical pricing trends from billions of customer journey searches to predict when the price of an Advance ticket will expire. We now share this information in our app to allow our customers to get the best price possible for their journey," Jon Moore, Chief Product Officer at Trainline said. "We're introducing more advanced machine learning every day so naturally our predictions will get increasingly accurate. Our mission is to make train travel as simple as possible and price prediction is the first in a long line of predictive features we have planned to help customers save time and money."

Trainline Train Prices

To demonstrate its tool, the company took an Advance single fare between London Euston and Manchester Piccadilly. If booked 80 days before the day of travel, that ticket will cost £32, rising to £38 at 41 days before. Wait until 13 days before and the price rises again to £42, then more than doubles 48 hours beforehand. On the day, that 160 mile journey will cost a whopping £126.

The feature isn't particularly groundbreaking, lots of companies provide similar tools for travel and accommodation all over the world. However, The Trainline is the UK's biggest independent ticket retailer and processes 125,000 customer journeys across Europe every day, meaning it has a better understanding of the nation's train travel habits than most.

Booking months in advance will always deliver the most value, but if you're umming and ahhing over whether to book that ticket, the company's new tool could provide some further clarity on the situation.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
268 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

The 2019 Engadget Holiday Gift Guide

View
Intel unveils its first chips built for AI in the cloud

Intel unveils its first chips built for AI in the cloud

View
Disney+ cuts off 'Simpsons' jokes with widescreen episodes

Disney+ cuts off 'Simpsons' jokes with widescreen episodes

View
Apple may reveal its 16-inch MacBook Pro tomorrow

Apple may reveal its 16-inch MacBook Pro tomorrow

View
Elon Musk: Berlin 'gigafactory' will build Teslas starting with the Model Y

Elon Musk: Berlin 'gigafactory' will build Teslas starting with the Model Y

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr