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A Hackatrain to improve the experience of international rail passengers

Monday 10 July at 07.00 AM, a very special train left Amsterdam Central Station. The challenge? Optimize the experience of the international rail passenger in 24 hours, before the Hackatrain arrives at one of the coolest festivals in Europe: Tech Open Air in Berlin.

Brainstorming between Amsterdam and Berlin

Over 60 digital talents divided in teams of students and professionals in innovation, IT and Design shared an exciting ride, while building innovative solutions. The Hackatrain was organized by BeWhyte and sponsored by several companies like NS, Prorail, APG and Mirabeau. All teams had access to a data set of NS, ProRail and CBS.The Mirabeau MagicLev team, named after the worlds’ fastest Maglev trains, came up with an idea to optimize comfort for train passengers. Peet Sneekes, creative consultant at Mirabeau shares his learnings:

 It all starts with personalizing the data. Make a profile of yourself and your wishes, and link it to the data. This way you can create a personal travel assistant who answers questions before you even asked them yourself. Think of a notification during your trip like: ‘you will arrive at the station in five minutes’. Or: ‘It’s almost lunch time! You can get a sandwich around the corner before your bus leaves’.  

Peet Sneekes, Mirabeau

Of all 21 teams, 5 teams were nominated to pitch in the finale. The Helter Skelter Buzzards were announced winner of the Hackatrain 2017 with their application to help train travelers discover Europe. The prototype of our Magiclev team was awarded with the outstanding development award.