How we built the infrastructure that allowed Railcards to go digital

How we built the infrastructure that allowed Railcards to go digital

By creating a modern API that integrates seamlessly with both Railcard supplier and Railcard user apps, we helped the Rail Delivery Group roll out digital Railcards across the UK and slash the time it took to buy and receive a new Railcard.

Keeping railways on track

The Rail Delivery Group (RDG) brings together the companies that run our railways. They have the sole aim of improving rail services, and every passenger and freight rail company in the country is a member. The group supports its members in many ways to help them transform the railways – including delivering a change to national ticketing services.

A scalable solution

We designed and built a modern standards based API to bridge the gap between the Railcard smartphone app and the Railcard retailers back office systems. Using Amazon Web Services (AWS) we built a robust, scalable solution defined in CloudFormation templates that made it possible for changes to be introduced at the touch of a button with zero downtime. By utilsing PaaS products such as SQS and RDS, we were able to build an API that creates thousands of new Railcards per day while at the same time responding to hundreds of thousands requests from Railcard apps on Android and iOS devices.

Always-on support

In the first three years of operation, the digital Railcard API has produced more than 2 million digital Railcards, grown 600% and today provides real time updates more than a quater of a million Android and iOS devices. The solution has high 99.99% uptimes, with a team of Cohaesus engineers on-standby ready to respond within minutes to any support requests both in and out of business hours.

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