Driverless trains, Bluetooth-operated ticket gates and iris-scanning for ticket verification could all be introduced to the UK railway network in the future.
These are just some of the digital ideas touted by the Railway Delivery Group that could help drag the UK's railway infrastructure into the 21st century.
Perhaps the most notable plan is for tickets that use smartphones to let customers move through gates at stations, helping reduce the time it takes to get large numbers of travellers through and on to platforms and reducing queues for ticket machines.
The are already plans to trial such services on Chiltern Railways route between Oxford Parkway, Bicester Village, Bicester North and London Marylebone on iOS.
The group said based on the success of such trials the use of phones for ticketing could evolve even further to cover fingerprint or iris-scanning technologies.
Plans for "self-regulating" trains have also been mooted. The idea is that trains would be able to manage their own movements at junctions, potentially reducing delays and increasing the number of trains that could run on networks, helping boost services and reduce overcrowding.
Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said the plans underlined the ambition within the train industry to take advantage of technology to improve services for the future.
"Our railway is increasingly full and while the industry is taking action to address the challenges of today, working together to deliver the £50bn plus Railway Upgrade Plan, we also need to be looking at the solutions of tomorrow," he said.
"This blueprint sets out how we can harness digital technology to make journeys better for passengers and freight customers on a railway that's simpler and easier to use."
Graham Hopkins, innovation lead for the Rail Supply Group and the rail industry's Technical Leadership Group Chair, acknowledged the plans were ambitious but said if the industry worked together they could be achieved.
"Delivery of these capabilities requires strong leadership, coordination, and collaboration from all parts of the industry. A united effort can ensure that the plan's milestones are included in industry planning, and that funding is coordinated, targeted, and secured".
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