Imagine all the people... getting to work on time...The UK's train operators have awarded SchlumbergerSema an £80m, 17-year contract to design, build and operate the country's rail settlement system. The system will handle and allocate more than £3.5bn in annual passenger revenue to Britain's 27 passenger train operators, and is expected to be fully operational by 1 April 2003. The new system, code named Lennon (Latest Earnings Networked Nationally Over Night), will deliver information from all ticket sales - whether purchased from a ticket vending machine, on a train, via the web or at a ticket office - to all parties within 24 hours, including the train operating companies and Transport for London. This is a dramatic improvement on the existing system that takes up to six weeks to process and deliver the same information, according to SchlumbergerSema. Lennon - which contains around 15 million lines of code - will collate data from over 8,000 ticket issuing devices and process £20m of revenue each night. George Muir, director general of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), said in a statement: "With more and more passengers and the trains getting full, the rail industry desperately needs sophisticated sales information even quicker - we want it by the next day. This will help us match passengers to seats so we maximise use of the railway capacity." The UK rail settlement system is currently one of the world's most complex settlement systems, and is larger than any of the settlement systems used by global airlines.