CASE STUDY

Swanage Railway

Having created Swanage Railway’s existing website back in 2014 it was well overdue for an update to make it as user friendly as possible.

We worked with them to create a new site to match their new requirements, allowing them to present customers with information as clearly as possible, aiding return customers and encouraging new ones.

TIME FOR A CHANGE

Although the existing website was well built, six years is a long time in the web world and it had gradually become overly busy, losing focus so that customers weren’t getting the best possible experience. Ticket conversion rates weren’t as strong as they could have been and relevant information wasn’t always easily accessible.

With a range of different trains running throughout the year the timetable had also become confusing to follow, especially when trying to establish when the next train would be running. It was difficult to manage internally too, taking up valuable time especially after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic meant that opening times and dates needed to be changed regularly and at short notice.

CUSTOMISED TIMETABLE

Our first priority was to make it as easy as possible for customers to find out the train times for the current day and when the next train would be running. To do this, we developed a custom widget to appear on the homepage showing upcoming departures, the route which the train would be taking, and the stations it would be stopping at. We also built in the ability for the customer to choose which station they wanted to board the train at and their direction of travel. This made it much simpler for passengers to plan their journeys, as well as ensuring that the times the train would reach each station were easily accessible.

Alongside this, we also created a timetable and calendar layout which can be fully managed via the CMS. This allowed the Swanage team to colour code dates on the calendar to display different services and events, as well as to link the run-time details to the relevant days to provide a clear and friendly guide for planning future visits.

Swanage Railway
Swanage Railway
Swanage Railway

PROMOTING EVENTS

With events throughout the year forming an important part of the railway’s offering it was key to display these as effectively as possible.

As well as displaying events on the calendar and linking directly to the listings, we were also able to build in the ability to create custom layouts for each event to show them off to best effect.

This also allowed the railway to quickly and easily provide the latest information on availability and any changes, keeping customers up to date at all times.

LOCOMOTIVE SHOWCASE

Of course, no heritage railway website would be complete without the ability to showcase the various locomotives and rolling stock on site. With this in mind, we built the ability to display these in all their glory, complete with the option to show pictures, stats, and interesting facts, to allow even those customers who couldn’t visit the railway the opportunity to enjoy them.

With the website now live the railway has been able to reap the rewards, with the customer experience significantly improved and the CMS management simplified and streamlined. We’re excited to continue supporting them and look forward to seeing what the future holds!

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