Mapping the Mersey

It’s been another busy week, with two new maps this time, covering the Merseyrail routes:

  • The Wirral Line map covers the route from West Kirby and New Brighton to Birkenhead North, Hamilton Square, the lines to Ellesmere Port and Bache, and the loop around Liverpool James Street. Chester will be added soon.
  • The Northern Line map covers Hunts Cross through to Liverpool Central, the spur to James Street, plus Sandhills to Southport, including the lines out to Ormskirk and Kirkby

These maps are as difficult as others – there’s no short-cut to laying them out, and it’s all drawn and wired up by hand. Mistakes always creep in, and I always try to fix them as soon as I can – like these ones from previous releases:

  • The Stafford map now has crossovers in the right position on the route to Penkridge, and a repositioned crossover to allow the route from 102 to 223 signals
  • The Marylebone to South Ruislip map has been reworked around Neasden South Junction, including the sidings and freight terminal
  • On the Bournemouth to Weymouth map, signal 5690 – which was always showing a green aspect – has been corrected to always show a red aspect

One important thing to point out is that there are a couple of bugs I’m still trying to fix on the site:

  • Sometimes, trains on maps are shown in white (meaning they’re clickable and you can see their schedule), but they’re linked to completely the wrong trains
  • On certain maps, on bi-directional lines, signals in both direction are showing a proceed aspect
  • TRTS indications and shunt signals occasionally switch on and off without warning

These are tricky problems which I’m trying hard to fix. I’m sorry it’s taking a while – there are only so many hours in the day to draw maps, write software, help the rest of the Open Data community, do my job (which pays my bills, including site hosting) and most important of all, actually take some time out.

That’s all for this week. The next release, hopefully next Sunday, will cover the route from Didcot Parkway to Swindon, the line to Kemble, part of the line to Bristol Parkway, plus Chippenham and Thingley Junction.

// Peter

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