Communication steams in to 21st Century at Norfolk Railway

PRESS RELEASE: Steam technology at Norfolk’s Bure Valley Railway has received a 21st century upgrade thanks to a Panasonic communication system. Eastern Voice & Data, a Panasonic Focus Dealer, has installed a new communication system that has helped the tourist attraction provide better customer service, increase on site efficiency and cut costs.

The previous fixed position phone system restricted communication between staff on the platform and in the ticket office and Bure Valley Railway (BVR) wanted a solution that would increase mobility, so more time could be spent attending to their customers.

All staff can now be reached via ruggedised mobile handsets or desk handsets allowing staff to be quickly located along the route from Aylsham to Wroxham. The phone system has also been integrated with the Public Address, allowing the train guard to announce arrival and departure information using the handset.

Andrew Barnes, Managing Director at BVR, said, “We welcome up to 1500 passengers a day, so good internal communication is essential. The new system has drastically improved communication between the platform and the ticket office – helping us improve the speed and accuracy at which we can evaluate customer demand and react to it.”

The move to SIP has enabled BVR to dispense with telephone lines that were no longer required, ultimately giving a more cost-effective solution.

“Customer service is vital in the tourist industry and from the first conversation with BVR, we recognised that this was a driver for a new communication system.” said Russell Marriott, Managing Director of Eastern Voice & Data.

“Previously there was limited communication with staff on trackside. What we’ve managed to do is provide them with full communication for all staff on trackside which means they can provide a better service to their customers.” Marriott continued.

Using IP technology has enabled the station 9 miles (15 Km) away to be connected to the main site system using a VPN extension, making communication with the signal box easier, and demonstrating how IP technology can be employed to connect telephones installed anywhere.