Setting rail bookings on the right track

Carlson Wagonlit Travel adds The Trainline to online booking tool to give software company more visibility over rail bookings


Travellers at a software company in the UK were used to booking airfares online, but when it came to rail they tended to buy tickets at the train station as and when they were needed. Senior managers were concerned that this behaviour meant there was no visibility over rail bookings.

The company is a global client of Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT). In the UK, the company wanted to encourage travellers to book rail through the travel management company online, ensuring all travel was booked as part of the same integrated system.


CWT account manager Stef Barrett said: "A lot of train travel is last-minute and it’s easy for travellers to grab a ticket at the station or even on the train. The challenge was to change their booking behaviour by showing how easy it is to book through an online booking tool (OBT) and the benefits that brings."


The Trainline was incorporated into the company's OBT, CWT Online, enabling travellers to book UK domestic rail fares in the same way that they would other travel.

Workshops were held to introduce everybody to the OBT and show how to use it for rail bookings. This included a presentation about the new Trainline integrated feature.

Travellers were advised of the benefits of booking online, including:

  • Policy compliance
  • Improved safety and security through traveller tracking
  • Convenience of having rail bookings and air bookings in the same place


Success of the integrated rail feature has been growing. Before implementation, only £184 of the company's rail travel was booked through CWT in a year. After implementation that rose to £9,700. In the next 12 months they had exceeded their target of £12,000 for the year.

Stef said: "After a successful implementation, the company's travellers have grasped the challenge to book their train travel online. The number of domestic fares booked online has more than trebled since implementation."

The software company now benefits from management information reporting on all travel including rail booked through the OBT, providing the visibility that it sought.