Springtime Review

Thank you to the vast number of you who have taken the “How Do You Use OpenTrainTimes?” Survey. It’s open for the next three weeks, so if you haven’t responded yet, please do so. The results are interesting, useful and in some cases, quite surprising – and they’re shaping plans for the future.

One of the most requested features is real-time train movement data. I’ve been working in the background for the past couple of months on getting this up and running, and I’ve made excellent progress in the past two weeks. Assuming I continue at this pace, I’m estimating releasing OpenTrainTimes 2.2 with real-time train movements in three weeks.

Something else I’ve been working on is producing timetable data for Great Britain in GTFS format. After chatting to a few people at the FutureEverything Innovation Challenge this weekend, I realised that there are 587 transit agencies providing GTFS data, and seemingly nobody in Great Britain.

What do I normally do when there’s a gaping hole in a domain that I understand and care about? I fix it, and I’ve created data.opentraintimes.com which will have a daily-updated GTFS-format snapshot of GB timetable data. There are just two more bugs to fix relating to trains which run overnight, but I’m anticipating fixing these early this week.

On to this week’s updates – as I’ve been so busy doing other things, there are only a few minor bugs which I’ve fixed:

  • The London Waterloo – Earlsfield/Chiswick/North Sheen map had platform numbers at Barnes and Putney labelled incorrectly. Note that due to caching, you might still see the old map for a couple of hours)
  • When using Internet Explorer 9, the Feedback link was rotated incorrectly
  • Trains at Stratford Parkway (STY) weren’t showing
  • Times on the homepage were an hour behind reality

Expect a period of relative quiet over the next couple of weeks whilst I get real-time data up and running – but please, as always, keep your feedback coming!

// Peter

What's new – 1st April

Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate it!

Before I get in to this week’s release, there are two things I’d like to say.

First, I’d really appreciate a couple of minutes of your time to complete the How do you use OpenTrainTimes? survey. The 50 or so responses I’ve had already are somewhat surprising and have shown me that you’re all using the site differently to how I anticipated.

Second, and of reasonable importance to anyone looking at OpenTrainTimes from an Open Data perspective – I’m working on a GTFS feed of train schedules. There are a couple of first attempts up at http://data.opentraintimes.com/, and I’m hoping to get a fully-validating set of data up in the next week or so.

Right, here we go with the new bits this week – just two of them:

– hopefully I’ll have time to extend this down to Berrylands

And several bugs have been fixed too:

  • Accommodation is no longer shown for non-passenger trains, so freight trains and ECS moves will no longer have 1st and Standard class seating
  • The departures-only pages were accidentally showing GBTT arrival times in place of GBTT departures – this is fixed
  • A few minor fixes to the King’s Langley – Wolverton and the Wolverton, Northampton, Rugby and Shilton maps

VSTP schedules are nearly ready to go live – there are a few remaining problems with the code that handles it, so I’ve held off releasing it this week.