Helping you have smarter train journeys

The TimeWise Rail Journey Preparation study seeks to explore the utility of a proposed travel companion app, aimed at helping rail travellers prepare for their time use during journeys.

Your views and experiences in this regard are very important in shaping research around improving rail travel.

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What is the study about?

We engage in a wide variety of activities when we travel by train. Some people like to work or study, while others like to disconnect and relax with music or a tv show. Others use this time to work on personal errands or hobbies, and some just like to zone out and observe the landscape.

Whatever we do, research shows that preparing well for your journey leads to a worthwhile use of your time, and travellers who plan ahead are usually happier about how they spent their time during the journey.

By taking part in this study, you will be able to help us understand more about what preparation activities and behaviours result in better journeys, and how technology can best be used to support this.

What's involved?

The study is in two phases:


Travel with our app

You will be provided with our TimeWise app, which has been designed to provide a range of features that you might find useful when preparing for a train journey. In addition, at the start and end of every journey, the app allows you to record your travel experience, which acts as a valuable reference for future journeys.


Complete a survey

After your trips, you will be asked to fill out a short survey to share your experiences of using the app and how it affected your travel.

Join the study

Click here to register you interest in taking part and we'll be in touch.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • The study forms part of a PhD exploring how data from digital technologies (such as smartphones and wearables) can be harnessed to better understand how and why rail passengers use their time while travelling, as well as how this influences their travel behaviour. Insights from the project will be used to power novel tools/apps and services that will enable passengers to plan their rail trips around their preferred time use, improving their overall journey experience.

  • The study is open to anyone above the age of 18 years with some exprience of rail travel in the UK. In addition, you will need to be travelling by train between now and December 20, 2020.

  • We will follow ethical and legal practice and all information about you will be handled in confidence.

    If you join the study, the data collected for the study will be looked at by authorised persons from the University of Nottingham who are undertaking the research. They may also be looked at by authorised people to check that the study is being carried out correctly. All will have a duty of confidentiality to you as a research participant and we will do our best to meet this duty.

    All information which is collected about you during the course of the research will be kept strictly confidential, stored in a secure and locked office, and on a password protected database. Any information about you which leaves the University will have any personally identifiable information removed and a unique code will be assigned to you so you cannot be recognised from it. Anonymised data may also be stored in data archives for future researchers interested in this area.

    Your contact data will be kept for 2 years after the end of the study so that we are able to contact you about the findings of the study and possible follow-up studies (unless you advise us not to). All research data will be kept securely for 7 years. After this time, your data will be disposed of securely. During this time, all precautions will be taken by all those involved to maintain your confidentiality, only members of the research team will have access to your data.

    This study has been approved by the University of Nottingham Faculty of Engineering Ethics committee.

  • We cannot promise the study will help you personally, but the information we get from this session may help in understanding how rail travel can be improved for travellers. In addition, you will be compensated with a £10 Amazon voucher for participating.


This study forms part of research being conducted towards a doctaoral degree, and has been reviewed and approved by the Faculty of Engineering Research Ethics Committee of the University of Nottingham.

For further information please contact Christian at