Simms Solve Fare Issues for Rail Application

Device manufacturers of payment and ticketing devices face the daunting tasks of creating systems that must be reliable due to the transparency of their return on investment. Failure to do so damages the reputation of their customers and impacts significantly on monies generated. Ticket machines are often found in remote locations at unmanned stations around the country and the support required to keep systems working can be phenomenal, so long term reliability and low maintenance is a core consideration.


Interfleet is a world leader in rail consultancy and system integration services and working with the major train operators in the UK, developed an advanced mobile payment ticketing solution. The system enable operators improved revenue generation services, enhanced customer service and passenger data capture.

The Challenge

The complete National Rail fare and timetable matrix information were all held on an compact-flash card. The original compact-flash card that was used passed testing but experienced unexpected data corruption. Due to the varied usage of the devices, corruption issues appeared at random timescales over a 3-6 month period. Because the issue was inherent with the design of the cards it impacted every system in operation at one stage. Once the compact-flash card became corrupt the device was no longer operational and all previous data recorded was lost. Simms were approached to help identify and resolve the issues and the loss in revenue meant that time was of the essence.

How Simms Achieved This

Simms were contacted late in the afternoon and having performed an initial needs analysis, one of our technical consultants arrived on site to the customer at 8am the next morning. On investigation of the defected units, two causes were identified;

  • Data corruption due to poor power management
  • Mechanical damage due to improper handling.

In order to over come these issues Simms introduced an ultra robust casing and implemented a customised firmware patch to efficiently mange power cycling. The test samples were deployed and approved for use within 10 working days. The balance of cards were supplied 5 working days later and have now been operation for 4+ years without failure.

Why Simms?

Simms was selected due to our rapid technical support services, our ability to fault find and to offer a solution in a timely manner, which was crucial to delivering this project.

Simms Delivered Because of

  • On Site Consultation Services
  • Firmware Customisation Services
  • Resolution Priority
  • Mechanical Customisation Services
  • Fast Response Times
  • Quick Delivery