RTT not showing cancelled trains on GN (11 June 2016)

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jon0844

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Got caught out twice today by RTT not reporting any trains cancelled, whereupon arriving at WGC and, later, Essex Road it turned out our trains were not running due to a shortage of train crew.

In the case of Essex Road, I went down to the platform before realising the WGC services were cancelled, and being a pretty awful place to wait for half an hour, decided to walk to Highbury & Islington (nice day to walk) and get the tube from there to MAYBE get a train at FPK from King's Cross (who knows if this would run either!).

Upon arrival at Highbury & Islington, getting seek assistance (WGC to London Terminals Super off peak return) prompted the gateline member of staff to say London Terminals tickets aren't valid and I'd have to go to Finsbury Park.

I assumed it was valid and said so, and he reluctantly let us through 'this time'. Now I wonder if that's the case, except I am pretty sure the only ticket you can get to any station from FPK to MOG is a London Terminals ticket?

Anyway, back to the information provision.. what went wrong today? It's as if RTT was just showing the timetabled information with no real time info.
 
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najaB

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Anyway, back to the information provision.. what went wrong today? It's as if RTT was just showing the timetabled information with no real time info.
I'd put it down to an issue with RTT processing the data as I've got quite a few cancellation messages in my database.
 

causton

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There is more than one way to mark a train as cancelled, and the way RTT can pick up is not the same way the CIS and websites would pick up, so they may focus on getting the info to customers at stations first, or perhaps someone just forgot to cancel it in both systems!
 

hounddog

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Anyway, back to the information provision.. what went wrong today? It's as if RTT was just showing the timetabled information with no real time info.

What did the monitors outside the Essex Road station entrance say?
 
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jon0844

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First time I've been affected by this. Looking now on the National Rail website, that does appear to show the cancelled services (at least going forward).

It's a very poor show from GTR though. Seems most of the WGC to Moorgate trains are affected today, and some of the trains out of King's Cross too.

Can't imagine what tomorrow will be like!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
What did the monitors outside the station entrance say?

I didn't check at Essex Road as I had checked my phone and it said 'on time'. I don't actually know where the screens are in the ticket hall at Essex Road (and I've been there about 10 times this year now!) so I will look out next time!!

At WGC this morning it said clearly it was cancelled and I just assumed a one off error on RTT.

No major hardship. Didn't really get home much later than planned (probably delayed less than 30 minutes overall) so can't make a claim and wouldn't likely bother anyway.
 

jon0844

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A check reveals lots marked as Cancelled on RTT now - so either the messages were sent late by GTR or there was a delay in RTT processing them...

Yes, I can see them now too. Going back, I can also see the trains showing as on time earlier as cancelled now.

Essex Road did have this sign up though. Looks very official. :)

IMG_20160611_123815.jpg
 
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Hadders

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The weekend cancellations on Great Northern are becoming a bit of a joke now. It's not just the 'inner' services seeing cancellations, a number of 'outer' services have been cancelled too.

I don't recall it ever being this bad under WAGN or FCC. GTR claimed there was a shortage of drivers when they took over by that was almost two years ago now and they shouldn't be in this position now.
 

Tom

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A check reveals lots marked as Cancelled on RTT now - so either the messages were sent late by GTR or there was a delay in RTT processing them...

RTT doesn't delay any message, so sent late. But Network Rail are the ones who put it in TRUST which is what RTT takes cancels from. I cannot use any Darwin data as I refuse to be beholden to one consistently inconsistent message: I've tried to work with many TOCs directly and they point blank refuse.
 

bb21

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That would explain it really. Cancellations are not always marked in TRUST in real time, with some retrospectively entered, so it is not to be taken as gospel. At busier times, control centre staff are more interested in getting trains running than perfecting information in TRUST. There are other channels in relaying real-time information to front-line staff.

That is obviously one major pitfall in relying on an unofficial website.
 

jon0844

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Fair enough, but I assumed the trains cancelled due to driver shortages would be known about in plenty of time.

Next weekend, I'll check other sources!
 

Tom

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That would explain it really. Cancellations are not always marked in TRUST in real time, with some retrospectively entered, so it is not to be taken as gospel. At busier times, control centre staff are more interested in getting trains running than perfecting information in TRUST. There are other channels in relaying real-time information to front-line staff.

That is obviously one major pitfall in relying on an unofficial website.

Not that those systems are very good either as I witnessed first hand yesterday at Southampton Airport. I have asked many TOCs if they want to give data into RTT at no cost to them (even if it costs me money) but they have refused, which is frankly ridiculous.

I'd be happier to use the 'one version of the truth' if it was actually reliably accurate, had a half decent uptime, etc... (it's not permitted to intelligently filter the rubbish out.)
 
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bb21

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Not that those systems are very good either as I witnessed first hand yesterday at Southampton Airport. I have asked many TOCs if they want to give data into RTT at no cost to them (even if it costs me money) but they have refused, which is frankly ridiculous.

I'd be happier to use the 'one version of the truth' if it was actually reliably accurate, had a half decent uptime, etc...

I personally also use RTT regularly, for that the information is by and large good, and I think you have done an excellent job in many respects. I also know quite a lot of colleagues who use it.

The simple truth is that no system is infallable, but obviously using an unofficial source will leave the passenger with no ground for complaint. There is still a long way to go to move the industry into modern times.
 

Tom

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Ah, but it's not good enough to handle disruption properly. The industry has been asked if it wants to help (one TOC is in process of doing so!) so they can get a more consistent view in cancellations, etc, even if it isn't consistent with its predictions - but I get the feeling they're worried about demeaning their prior investment into the 'official' system.
 

bb21

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I would not be surprised by such an attitude in certain quarters.
 

jon0844

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I must add that I wasn't having a go about the RTT app/site, one where I've bought the app and would support in any way I could. I re-read what I wrote and it sounds like I am saying I won't trust/use RTT again. I didn't mean that at all, just that I was surprised it didn't have the info - and I was wondering why it didn't.
 

najaB

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I'd be happier to use the 'one version of the truth' if it was actually reliably accurate, had a half decent uptime, etc...
Does it even exist? Given the fragmented nature of the industry I would be very surprised if it does.
 

Tom

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It's called Darwin. In essence, if you take anything from Darwin you must comply with everything it says even if it is blatantly wrong.
 

47271

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First of all, a grateful nation of very regular rail users salute you Tom, you're not just working for enthusiasts, keep up the good work and get your product in the mainstream as much as possible.

I know at least one TOC - I won't be so blunt as to name it - where I know staff put RTT way ahead of their official sources for reliable running information.

That said, because of the enforced limitations already described here, I treat all RTT info as advice rather than gospel. Unless there's clear confirmation of calling or pass times, I don't especially believe that a service is on the move. I wouldn't be too shocked or surprised if a service was shown on RTT as starting as running to time turned out to be cancelled, I've seen it happen a few times between Inverness and Perth.
 

ComUtoR

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I don't find any of the information provided particularly accurate. I've had cause to track a few services recently and some of the services have been reported as on time yet I know 100% the service was late. I've had a couple of services totally missing and a few with timings that were wildly inaccurate.

No blame to RTT as every source I checked was also inaccurate. If information is wrong at source then I think RTT and other 3rd party apps/websites have little hope of providing accurate information.
 

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Personally I use the relevant journey check page if I'm wondering about updates and check NRE for important connections. Realtime Trains is useful for times when you're wondering about other things or if you might make an unofficial connection etc. It's a poor source to consult compared to a company app in cases of possible pick up / set down only or request stops, or when there's disruption that you might want to claim for.
 

najaB

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It's a poor source to consult compared to a company app in cases of possible pick up / set down only or request stops...
To each their own, I suppose, but RTT shows request stops ('Calls upon request' under the station name) and it isn't too hard to figure out set-down/pick-up only stops as they won't have a departure/arrival time listed.
 
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47271

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Personally I use the relevant journey check page if I'm wondering about updates and check NRE for important connections. Realtime Trains is useful for times when you're wondering about other things or if you might make an unofficial connection etc. It's a poor source to consult compared to a company app in cases of possible pick up / set down only or request stops, or when there's disruption that you might want to claim for.

I'd disagree with your very final point. My last three marginal Delay Repay claims have gone through without debate when I've included the relevant RTT screenshot.
 

Tom

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And this now returns to the point I make on here apparently surprising frequently. Please email me directly if there are any howling errors - I don't look at all 35000 services a day so I simply don't know if there's a colossal problem somewhere.
 

ComUtoR

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And this now returns to the point I make on here apparently surprising frequently.

No blame to RTT as every source I checked was also inaccurate. If information is wrong at source...

My point isn't that RTT is wrong. More that the information is often wrong before you get it.

I've seen services appear differently on OTT and RTT as well as what gets sent to me internally :/
 

Tom

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Ah, but my point is that even if the information I get is wrong - I might find a way to correct it :)
 

Starmill

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I'm at this very moment subject to the reverse arrangement. I'm waiting for 1U86 the Northern service at 2245 from Blackpool North to Manchester Airport. RTT says cancelled. NRE and the screens here at Manchester Piccadilly say 'Delayed'. 20160612_001027.jpg


Update: the train has now vanished from the platform screen and been replaced with the attached, it says "Special Notices".



There's an announcement playing which says "The 2359 service to Manchester Airport is delayed. This is due to a member of traincrew being unavailable."
 

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Tom

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I'm at this very moment subject to the reverse arrangement. I'm waiting for 1U86 the Northern service at 2245 from Blackpool North to Manchester Airport. RTT says cancelled. NRE and the screens here at Manchester Piccadilly say 'Delayed'.
Now the interesting thing here is that the train ran Blackpool to Preston. TRUST prevents a cancellation from being entered into the system until the train has arrived at the point from which it is being cancelled - so this cancel must have gone in just after it arrived at Preston.

Having had a rummage, it seems it's related to a number of cancellations earlier today so they've known for quite some time in any case. I personally find that when RTT says a service is cancelled it's very rare that the service actually runs (I know of very few instances), as it's done by NR rather than the TOC.
 

Starmill

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Thanks. I did make it onto a replacement bus in the end, but it's pretty bad that NRE and the screens at the station didn't know that the train had been cancelled. Fewer than half of those waiting made it onto the bus, giving up and going for their own taxi after around 25 minutes of waiting and the screens just saying 'Delayed'. It's just one of those times where I immediately say something like 'I don't rely on RTT when it really matters' when, only that very evening it did really matter and RTT was right. Typically me I suppose.
 
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