National Rail Enquiries plans to introduce text and automated speech recognition services by the end of the year.
The text service, developed by Kazoom, will allow passengers to register on the National Rail Enquiries website to receive train details by text at a cost of 25p per message.
"It's all about giving customers choice to give them the information they need in a way that is convenient to them at the time," said National Rail Enquiries chief executive Chris Scoggins.
"If there's something serious on the network like snow or flooding, call levels can double or even quadruple. That's when the text service will be optimised."
By the end of the year, a fully automated service will allow passengers to text enquiries about trains and receive a text response.
The automated speech system will use a different phone number from the main train enquiries line, but at busy times a message on the main number will alert users to the alternative.
Technical details have yet to be fully determined, but Scoggins said contracts would be let in the next few weeks.
The services join National Rail Enquiries' existing online journey planner, live departure boards relaying information from stations to its website, and a Wap service.
The service receives 95 million enquiries a year, with 50 million handled on the phone. Some 10 per cent of calls are now answered in India under an outsourcing deal with BT and Ventura.
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