General Chat Thread, Train tracking not up to modern standards in General; I'm a bit disappointed with the train tracking facilities available on the net
This one isn't bad but doesn't have ...
15th March 2011, 10:06 PM #1
Train tracking not up to modern standards
I'm a bit disappointed with the train tracking facilities available on the net
This one isn't bad but doesn't have preston or wigan as destinations
Vaguely live map of trains in the United Kingdom
What we need is dedicated (e.g geek) regular train travellers with GPS and running an app to update an online database
15th March 2011, 10:20 PM #2
I think that map only shows the major starting/ending points for trains, and not the 'in-between' stations.
15th March 2011, 10:44 PM #3
I'm guessing that the data just isn't available - the same guy has written Live map of London Underground trains which works really well for the Tube. Transport for London make the data available so I'd guess it's (relatively!) easy to map it. If National Rail don't make train data available with a nice API then there's a limit to what you can do and basically, Simon has to just stay on the train all day so we can find out where the trains are :-)
I'd also quite like something for buses. LiveBus.org kind of does this (it lets you see when the next bus is coming at any stop it knows about) but it doesn't work at all for London (which is a bit surprising given the work that went into iBus [http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/proj...mes/2373.aspx])
15th March 2011, 11:08 PM #4
A friend of mine created a "simulator" for the Tyne & Wear Metro - not based on live data or an API, but the timetable. Interesting idea, and shows what can be done at a minimum if data is available...
Alistair's Metro Simulator
15th March 2011, 11:40 PM #5
If the UK had a super-efficient train network like the one Japan has, all you would need is a timetable.
Originally Posted by SimpleSi
16th March 2011, 09:32 AM #6
What we need is the geek version of the Big Society, where pressure is put on publicly funded bodies to open up APIs and let people develop and release apps and sites like this - stuff that the data providers should be doing themselves in an ideal world, but people who are scratching their own itch tend to do a lot better anyway, as they know what they really need.
16th March 2011, 10:01 AM #7
My impression from standing around at stations watching the wildly inaccurate arrival/departure times is that they don't seem to know where half the trains are themselves a lot of the time, so how could they be expected to provide a tracking service to anyone else?
16th March 2011, 10:05 AM #8
National Rail have made it quite clear that anybody using 'their' data in interesting ways is in big trouble. Totally unreasonably, of course... but that's part of the reason for the lack of services.
16th March 2011, 10:16 AM #9
I was on an InterCity coming back from Swansea the other day, my carriage had little screen on the back of the seats. You could use them to track your speed and position.
16th March 2011, 10:23 AM #10
I guess a sat-nav kind of display within the train itself is much less of a technical challenge than getting that data online.
Something I was surprised to find out - Network Rail isn't subject to FoI despite it effectively being government owned
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