Transpennine Express

When Rail Gourmet needed an EPoS company to supply an on-board MPoS solution to support its operations on board three UK TOCs, their teams turned to ECR.

TransPennine Express, Grand Central, and East Midlands trains – all clients of Rail Gourmet – were all in need of a new system to support on-board train catering. The requirement was for a sophisticated system able to handle mobile transactions reliably and quickly, whilst offering simplicity to crews and back office users.

ECR and Rail Gourmet have worked together on previous projects in the UK and Ireland, and for clients including Irish Rail, Northern Irish Railways, and Virgin Trains East Coast. This working relationship enabled our teams to benefit immediately, understanding how each operates as well as the technicalities involved behind the systems themselves.

RailPoS enables Rail Gourmet to manage onboard catering operations across multiple TOCs, whilst the back office also manages each client via one central dashboard meaning that Head Office staff can use a permissions-based access to view and manage onboard sales for each client individually.

The hardware solution and unique built-in software have the dual capability of handling product sales, accepting all payment types including contactless, Apple Pay, and mobile wallet payments.

ECR’s system comprises industry-leading on-board customer service solutions. The entirely mobile units are used throughout the train and link to the outside world via on- board WiFi (where available) and alternatively are able to use 3G/4G networks,

The payment terminals are fully PCI compliant and EMV levels 1 and 2 approved to allow both on and offline transactions from within the unit.

The solution includes a contactless-enabled PED, fast, silent thermal printer to issue receipts and is designed to make product entry, sales and stock movements fast and accurate.

Each train is stocked and its manifest loaded via a touch screen. Retail transactions are logged on the system and all sales, stock, tender and operator information is then sent back to Rail Gourmet’s head office server.


The benefits of the system include:

  • One single system and dashboard manages multiple TOC clients
  • monitoring on-board catering performance, enabling Rail Gourmet to tailor products to customers by journey and time of day
  • cost reduction through stock flow management.
  • Rail Gourmet’s catering analysts access extensive and tailored reports using the ECR reporting tool
  • real-time replenishment prompts, reducing the need for manual completion of paperwork, meaning catering bars can stay open longer during a journey
  • enhances customer service and presents a professional image.
  • Payments are flexible, rapid and reliable.

Electronic data transfer means less paperwork; data is more timely and accurate, enabling more detailed management that aids decision making. Data mining is carried out via ECR’s ‘flexmonster’ facility offering touch of a button reporting on seasonal, weekly and even single- journey sales information, This in turn facilitates advance ordering.

The on-board system is easy to use and intuitive, with screens designed together with Rail Gourmet’s Head Office to reflect any menu changes. With complete visibility of every transaction made, Rail Gourmet can profile each route and use the available business intelligence for effective route planning and sales forecasting.

The purchase of the RailPoS™ solution from ECR was ultimately driven by a desire to gain an accurate view of sales and stock levels with full control over retail financials. ECR’s solution offers Rail Gourmet the chance to improve the integrity of stock data and therefore reduce the incidence of over or under supplying a train with any given product line.

The trial was considered a great success by both train crews and management alike. Thanks to the flexibility of RailPoS design, Rail Gourmet are able to manage operations individually across their different client networks, and can add to this in line with business requirements.