RealTimeTrains website

Peter Mugridge

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Epsom
The step usually happens when the train occupies the track-circuit immediately beyond each signal, subject to various conditions (such as the signal being off). If for some reason, the conditions are not met, then the description will not step, and the train will effectively leave its description behind. The description will then stay where it is until overwritten by the next train to arrive, or the signaller clears it.
I take it that explains the frequent presence of a "ghost" train in platform 2 at Epsom, usually after a reversal there?
 
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Tim_UK

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9 Jan 2019
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73
Is this why sometimes on open train time maps and traksy that a tsid stays on the map in a berth long after the train has moved elsewhere, occasionaly with the same tsid appearing in two locations. I've always assumed that a data link has broken or frozen.
If you see it happening a lot in the same place then worth an email to traksy or realtimetrains to ask. Might be a bug.

There are thousands of berths and possible either the data is wrong from network rail or wired up wrong between data and map.
 

Belperpete

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17 Aug 2018
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Is this why sometimes on open train time maps and traksy that a tsid stays on the map in a berth long after the train has moved elsewhere, occasionaly with the same tsid appearing in two locations.
It could be. Some train describers don't cope well with the signaller setting routes out of both ends of a platform, for example if a train is divided and the two halves sent off in opposite directions. In cases where a description doesn't step, the signaller will re-input the description at the train's new location, but may well not bother clearing out the description that failed to step (it is usually fairly obvious from his display that there is no train there), and the description will automatically get overwritten by the next train.

At platforms and other places where there can be two or more trains, there is often two or more description berths. The description of an arriving train will usually be stepped into the far berth, adjacent to the exit signal in the same direction, on the assumption that the train is going to carry on in the same direction of travel. The same happens at terminal platforms: the description of an arriving train will usually step into the far berth (the one nearest the buffers on the display). It is not uncommon practice for the train's new description to then be entered into the other berth, adjacent to the signal, ready for its return departure. The signaller can then see both old and new descriptions. When the train departs, it will take its new description with it, leaving the old description behind.
 

Tom

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One thing I think it is worth adding on this discussion around stepping is that the stepping is only as good as the control tables that determine the triggers and conditions for a step to take place. Some areas are better than others and use the conditions in more refined way to determine how a train steps, particularly around permissive working. Of course, this is all dependent on the data that is available to feed in and influence those restrictions.
 

Trains66779

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9 Oct 2017
Messages
32
If it was abandoned I wouldn't be paying about £2,000 per month to keep it going...

There is a substantial update coming, and a small group of around 30 people have access to it (although it's currently down) which brings a new branding to the site amongst the facility for further improvements. There's also a number of things in the pipeline that don't touch the GB mainline that should hit the public by the end of the year.

Over the last few months, starting in mid-March, I started a long 8 month programme to revamp the infrastructure that runs it. I've thrown in about £15,000 in capital for new servers, firewalls, switching. At the beginning of the year, I had two data centres (half cab in York, 3U in Gatwick for those that care) that are both being moved to cater for increased capacity and future projects. Those new data centres (full cab near London Bridge, and half cab in Manchester) are nearing completion and RTT will be brought live in the London data centre next week. That, amongst other paid work which contributes to the running cost and salaries (yes, it's a full time job), have taken most of my time recently. https://bgp.he.net/AS209082 for an example of the work being done although I imagine only networking people will understand that!

As ever, we read everything via the feedback email address on the website even if we don't reply...


Not really true. Looked at doing this before. Setting something up like this initially is easy, then they start changing their fleets. 755s being a primary example. It's hard enough keeping up with signalling system changes.
Tom your work is amazing! When I first started spotting aged 5 it was guess work as yo what trains would come through my local and now thanks to your RTT I can go out and see the most interesting moves and never miss them! The accuracy is amazing and I really appreciate all of your hard work.
 

_toommm_

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8 Jul 2017
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Headingley
Not sure if this has been mentioned, but alongside the ability to see ScotRail unit numbers, it now displays the number of carriages without having to click onto the service so you can see at a glance how many carriages a service is formed of:

Screenshot 2020-05-19 at 3.48.12 pm.png
 

_toommm_

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What's the map icon on the far right?
That's a third party addon for Chrome, which shows the route of a train in a little map. The author posted about it somewhere on the forum, but in the absence of it, I'll link to it here, and attach a sample screenshot below:

Screenshot 2020-05-19 at 7.57.09 pm.png

 

SeaKing

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21 Jan 2019
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Taunton
Has there been a problem with Scot Rail data the last few days, I have noticed missing Unit allocations and the same Unit listed on more than 1 diagram at the same time.
 

Tom

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Yes, it's been a bit dodgy for about a week that I've noticed. There are a few issues that have started due to how the data transfer mechanism works and the timings at which it runs and with the emergency timetables. It's being worked on and I would hope that it'll be fixed over the weekend.
 

Tom

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The quick answer is no.

The long answer is: I have taken the view that I will publish no more TOC allocations until such a point that I (and a TOC) feel that the coronavirus restrictions have lifted to a degree that it becomes appropriate to do so again. I personally feel that publishing them right now would encourage unnecessary journeys or travel which I am of the current opinion that no-one should be doing. If they were published, one person making an unnecessary journey because of my own actions is a journey too many. I don't want to be putting people at risk by my actions.
 

Mag_seven

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samuelmorris

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The quick answer is no.

The long answer is: I have taken the view that I will publish no more TOC allocations until such a point that I (and a TOC) feel that the coronavirus restrictions have lifted to a degree that it becomes appropriate to do so again. I personally feel that publishing them right now would encourage unnecessary journeys or travel which I am of the current opinion that no-one should be doing. If they were published, one person making an unnecessary journey because of my own actions is a journey too many. I don't want to be putting people at risk by my actions.
I think that's admirable. Even for people that do genuinely need to travel, those that might skew their journeys in any way due to unit numbers / types etc. are still potentially creating undue risk so I totally understand that viewpoint.

Nonetheless, when this is all over, I'm very much looking forward to seeing if any other TOCs willingly share this info a bit closer to home.
 

Tom

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My concerns more stem around enthusiasts taking the proverbial rather than someone skewing their journey in favour of a type, as one type may be better for social distancing than another for those making essential journeys. I've noticed that there was a sharp increase in people going out for photographs, etc, when the lockdown slightly eased a few days ago which cemented my view further in my mind: I realise everyone's interpretation is different, and that's their own perogative, but my own interpretation was that it's essentially unchanged in terms of discretionary travel which is what I see an "enthusiast" journey as whether that's for spotting, photographs or bashing.

As I'm sure everyone can appreciate, all the train operators are extremely busy with running a train service in challenging times right now and I don't really want to pile more on them.
 

samuelmorris

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Of course, that's where I knew you were going with it, but I didn't really want to draw attention to such people. You sort of rather hope they don't exist, but the behaviour of some enthusiasts when certain special runs happen sadly demonstrates otherwise.
 

ValleyLines142

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My concerns more stem around enthusiasts taking the proverbial rather than someone skewing their journey in favour of a type, as one type may be better for social distancing than another for those making essential journeys. I've noticed that there was a sharp increase in people going out for photographs, etc, when the lockdown slightly eased a few days ago which cemented my view further in my mind: I realise everyone's interpretation is different, and that's their own perogative, but my own interpretation was that it's essentially unchanged in terms of discretionary travel which is what I see an "enthusiast" journey as whether that's for spotting, photographs or bashing.

As I'm sure everyone can appreciate, all the train operators are extremely busy with running a train service in challenging times right now and I don't really want to pile more on them.
That's more than fair enough that, I can see where you're coming from. I look forward to any further developments when they come up!
 

sciisfun

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Thanks for a great site @Tom if it's any consolation having gone through most of this thread in a single sitting, there's many things that have been implemented so well that I'm having to go over to another tab to double check that they're actually a thing, like the dots when on trime, despite using it hundreds of times since the big change, never stood out or drew attention to itself, keep up the good work, and I look forward to the possibility of an enhanced subscription based service
 

BigB

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Scotland
Tom, just to echo everyone else, RTT is a great tool. The real test is that it's my go-to app when travelling, to ensure I can see what are on timetables in one place and get a good view of connections etc. It's also brilliant to see trains as a hobby, but fundamentally you have made something that does it all.
You are of course limited to what data you can get from other's feeds but it's how you interpret and present that data that makes the difference. I do this kind of thing for a living and know how hard it is to make things look simple when fundamentally they are anything but!
As it may be some time before normality returns I can wait for other improvements as you are right to be cautious.
I see you already have a small army of testers, but if you need any more on IOS or Windows/Edge etc. I'd be happy to do so.
 

Tom

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Has there been a problem with Scot Rail data the last few days, I have noticed missing Unit allocations and the same Unit listed on more than 1 diagram at the same time.
This is now resolved in the most part. There's a lingering issue with unit swaps that needs fixing separate but the core of the issue with an inability to apply unit allocations to services is now solved.
 

SeaKing

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This is now resolved in the most part. There's a lingering issue with unit swaps that needs fixing separate but the core of the issue with an inability to apply unit allocations to services is now solved.
Hi Tom, Many thanks, last minute swaps can't be helped, Thanks for all the info and looking forward to putting the info into practice when we can do leisure trips.
 

50039

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I haven’t had time to read the whole thread but.... I think RTT is excellent - I wouldn’t be without it.
Curiosity now.... freight headcodes have always been scrambled - logic being commercial sensitivity... ? But GBRF have always been different - and now offer up loco allocations as well - si the question is - have they seen any adverse impact on their business for being more open?
Apologies if this has been discussed previously
 

_toommm_

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I haven’t had time to read the whole thread but.... I think RTT is excellent - I wouldn’t be without it.
Curiosity now.... freight headcodes have always been scrambled - logic being commercial sensitivity... ? But GBRF have always been different - and now offer up loco allocations as well - si the question is - have they seen any adverse impact on their business for being more open?
Apologies if this has been discussed previously
I believe the reason why GBRF show them is because their staff use it instead of some of the internal systems, which I think they would have to pay for.
Commercial sensitivity has always been cited as the reason as you say but I really can’t see how it would affect, say DB Schenker, or Colas, by showing the headcodes to be honest.
 

50039

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I believe the reason why GBRF show them is because their staff use it instead of some of the internal systems, which I think they would have to pay for.
Commercial sensitivity has always been cited as the reason as you say but I really can’t see how it would affect, say DB Schenker, or Colas, by showing the headcodes to be honest.
Oh yes, I’d forgotten that GBRF have a different operating approach... Doesn’t seem to be having any adverse impact on their business...
 

DarloRich

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Work - Fenny Stratford(MK) Home - Darlington
My concerns more stem around enthusiasts taking the proverbial rather than someone skewing their journey in favour of a type, as one type may be better for social distancing than another for those making essential journeys. I've noticed that there was a sharp increase in people going out for photographs, etc, when the lockdown slightly eased a few days ago which cemented my view further in my mind: I realise everyone's interpretation is different, and that's their own perogative, but my own interpretation was that it's essentially unchanged in terms of discretionary travel which is what I see an "enthusiast" journey as whether that's for spotting, photographs or bashing.

As I'm sure everyone can appreciate, all the train operators are extremely busy with running a train service in challenging times right now and I don't really want to pile more on them.

Very sensible approach imo. I have had a play with the Scotrail information and I like the graphical representation and the further information about on board facilities. I remain to be convinced what benefit unit numbers have for the man in the street. I can see some interest in number of carriages IF you have a choice of peak time journeys. However, I think of my mum or my gf. Would that information ( about number or even carriages) enrich their journey home?

How will the average man in the street use this information to help them make decisions?

BTW - Well done on making this happen. I hope it pays off!
 

SteveyBee131

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Grimsby Town
Very sensible approach imo. I have had a play with the Scotrail information and I like the graphical representation and the further information about on board facilities. I remain to be convinced what benefit unit numbers have for the man in the street. I can see some interest in number of carriages IF you have a choice of peak time journeys. However, I think of my mum or my gf. Would that information ( about number or even carriages) enrich their journey home?

How will the average man in the street use this information to help them make decisions?

BTW - Well done on making this happen. I hope it pays off!
The man on the street would probably use simple mode, which RTT defaults to. A quick check I did just now didn't show unit number in simple mode, just how many carriages and facilities. This information might give them a heads-up on whether they'll be sat or stood for their commute, if their emails will wait while they get to work or if they'll be able to get a cuppa on board.
 

Andy1673

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10 May 2019
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The quick answer is no.

The long answer is: I have taken the view that I will publish no more TOC allocations until such a point that I (and a TOC) feel that the coronavirus restrictions have lifted to a degree that it becomes appropriate to do so again. I personally feel that publishing them right now would encourage unnecessary journeys or travel which I am of the current opinion that no-one should be doing. If they were published, one person making an unnecessary journey because of my own actions is a journey too many. I don't want to be putting people at risk by my actions.
I wouldn't take unnecessary journey any way whether shown unit allocation or not. I think there are lot of people who'd like to know unit allocation for particular or any service of a TOC or an area. I mean an innocent reason to know of course :))))
It would be well satisfactory to have a source of the information for them.
 

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