Timetable demo for timetableworld.com

shawmat

Member
Joined
15 May 2020
Messages
15
Location
Maidenhead
I recently posted as the developer of timetableworld.com, seeking views about revamping the site. Here's an update. Your feedback on the new demo (below) would help me a lot!

The website has been running since 2008 and appears to be quite popular, but has not had any updates for several years. Using the technology available 10-12 years ago the work of scanning, cleaning and indexing images was taking too long. However, I think I've cracked how to do it better:

1. I've purchased a new overhead scanner which automatically uncurls images when scanned from timetable books, which saves vast amounts of time
2. A new presentational approach may make it possible to publish the timetables without indexing them. This is what I want to show you here and get your thoughts.

Please follow the link below it to open the full 500+ page timetable for the LMS June 1947.
Front.jpg

https://ttw.shawmat.net/imviewer.php?page=68&max_zoom=9&x=124416&y=25600

The book is arranged as a matrix, 50 pages across. The idea is that users can zoom and pan quickly. If you like this approach, it reduces the end-to-end time to scan-and-publish a good-sized timetable book down to 2-3 hours.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

d1672

Member
Joined
15 Jan 2011
Messages
114
Location
Cumbernauld
I have just tried this specimen and found it easy to use. The pages are very clear and I do hope that you can scan more timetable books. May I suggest a late 1950's Scottish Region timetable, please.
 

eastwestdivide

Established Member
Joined
17 Aug 2009
Messages
1,865
Works for me too. I'd suggest a slightly squarer matrix though - 9 rows x 50-odd pages means a lot of horizontal scrolling, but I appreciate the ragged right hand ends of rows so as not to split one table across two rows. Would it be possible to overlay a large table number at the start of each row?
 

shawmat

Member
Joined
15 May 2020
Messages
15
Location
Maidenhead
Works for me too. I'd suggest a slightly squarer matrix though - 9 rows x 50-odd pages means a lot of horizontal scrolling, but I appreciate the ragged right hand ends of rows so as not to split one table across two rows. Would it be possible to overlay a large table number at the start of each row?
Good feedback, thanks. It all helps.

The ragged row-ends arise because of the mix of portrait and landscape images on each row. With a fixed 50 pages per row at the moment a table CAN split. That's fairly easy to improve but I don't want to spend too much time on having individual layouts for each timetable because the indexing work is time-consuming. Reducing the time-to-publish is a key success criterion! Also, many timetable books are referenced by page number, not table number and, for them, it helps to have a regular number of pages per row - hence I chose 50.

Adding an overlay to help navigation is a good idea. I'm also planning to colour-code the index pages so that people can find them quickly.
 

hexagon789

Established Member
Joined
2 Sep 2016
Messages
8,905
Location
Glasgow
Just echoing what others have said, but I find the 'new' version very clear and much easier to scroll across. Far, far easier yo pan which I do like. It is difficult to improve on an already very good site but I think changing to this would be worth it - more user friendly in respect of what I outlined.
 

pdeaves

Established Member
Joined
14 Sep 2014
Messages
3,209
Location
Gateway to the South West
I confess that when I viewed your demo link I was overwhelmed by what I saw. Too much on the screen in one go with no indication of what I was looking at. Obviously, your target audience may be totally different to people like me, but that was my experience.
 
Joined
21 Oct 2012
Messages
300
Location
Wilmslow
Stunningly clear reproduction of the pages - I look forward to more timetables receiving the treatment. One suggestion - just a simple listing of the tables as a frontspiece would be useful e.g. 'Table 162 Manchester , Bolton, Blackrod and Horwich' so you know where to aim for in the matrix when researching a particular line. Sadly I do know the BR All System Timetable numbers off by-heart but the LMS is even before my time! The page numbers are essential as the 'notes', e.g. Don't stop Camborne Wednesdays, often only appear quite a few pages later.
 

30907

Established Member
Joined
30 Sep 2012
Messages
8,890
Location
Airedale
I second Sir Felix Pole's request.

A more serious problem arises when tables are split across a double page - Table 50, the WCML so one I imagine lots of readers would refer to, is almost unreadable as a result. Fortunately there don't seem to be any others, but a SR book would have 3 main line tables that way (Ashford, Brighton, Exeter).

Is there a way you can resolve this easily?
 

ColuGav

Member
Joined
15 Sep 2010
Messages
22
Very slightly off topic here, but when looking through timetables such as these (for example Table 19 on the Eastern Region - https://timetableworld.com/image_viewer.php?id=8&section_id=1832). How would one determine what the origin / destination stations are of a service.

For example, the first column which leaves Colchester at 06.40, did that train actually start at Liverpool St at 04.25 or is that just the train you'd need to catch from LST to make that connection?

Secondly, in the second column, am I interpreting it correctly as multiple services:
07.05 Colchester to Clacton,
07.20 Wivenhoe to Brightlingsea
07.45 Thorpe-le-Soken to Walton-on-Naze

The latter two of which are individual services with the connections being made by catching the 07.05 from Colchester, are they train splits?

Finally, the third column, is the 07.54 from St Botolphs to Brightlingsea a through train?

In the days of digital timetables / journey planners I appear to have lost the ability to read a timetable.

Gav
 

30907

Established Member
Joined
30 Sep 2012
Messages
8,890
Location
Airedale
Very slightly off topic here, but when looking through timetables such as these (for example Table 19 on the Eastern Region - https://timetableworld.com/image_viewer.php?id=8&section_id=1832). How would one determine what the origin / destination stations are of a service.

For example, the first column which leaves Colchester at 06.40, did that train actually start at Liverpool St at 04.25 or is that just the train you'd need to catch from LST to make that connection?

Secondly, in the second column, am I interpreting it correctly as multiple services:
07.05 Colchester to Clacton,
07.20 Wivenhoe to Brightlingsea
07.45 Thorpe-le-Soken to Walton-on-Naze

The latter two of which are individual services with the connections being made by catching the 07.05 from Colchester, are they train splits?

Finally, the third column, is the 07.54 from St Botolphs to Brightlingsea a through train?

In the days of digital timetables / journey planners I appear to have lost the ability to read a timetable.

Gav
Before BR adopted the European convention of showing connections in italics, there was no sure-fire way of knowing. Space was at a premium even without paper rationing.

1. The indent against Liverpool Street meant (means) "not the full service, check Table X" which would usually tell you if there were through coaches to Brightlingsea or wherever.
2. Correct, local knowledge (remember there were loads of staff back then) would tell you where/if to change - Walton might have been a through portion.
3. Correct.
 

ColuGav

Member
Joined
15 Sep 2010
Messages
22
Before BR adopted the European convention of showing connections in italics, there was no sure-fire way of knowing. Space was at a premium even without paper rationing.

1. The indent against Liverpool Street meant (means) "not the full service, check Table X" which would usually tell you if there were through coaches to Brightlingsea or wherever.
2. Correct, local knowledge (remember there were loads of staff back then) would tell you where/if to change - Walton might have been a through portion.
3. Correct.
Thanks for your quick reply!

I'm in the process of creating a website which will show "live" positions of trains as they were in different eras, so being able to try and understand origins / destinations of trains is definitely helpful!
 

Senex

Established Member
Joined
1 Apr 2014
Messages
2,168
Location
York
I recently posted as the developer of timetableworld.com, seeking views about revamping the site. Here's an update. Your feedback on the new demo (below) would help me a lot!

The website has been running since 2008 and appears to be quite popular, but has not had any updates for several years. Using the technology available 10-12 years ago the work of scanning, cleaning and indexing images was taking too long. However, I think I've cracked how to do it better:

1. I've purchased a new overhead scanner which automatically uncurls images when scanned from timetable books, which saves vast amounts of time
2. A new presentational approach may make it possible to publish the timetables without indexing them. This is what I want to show you here and get your thoughts.

Please follow the link below it to open the full 500+ page timetable for the LMS June 1947.
View attachment 78654

https://ttw.shawmat.net/imviewer.php?page=68&max_zoom=9&x=124416&y=25600

The book is arranged as a matrix, 50 pages across. The idea is that users can zoom and pan quickly. If you like this approach, it reduces the end-to-end time to scan-and-publish a good-sized timetable book down to 2-3 hours.
The scanner's done a superb job on that (assuming you didn't have to do very much manually afterwards). Have yopu by any chance tried it on a really poor original yet—perhaps a C19 Bradshaw ot something equally difficult? (And if one may ask, what make/model did you go for?)
 

shawmat

Member
Joined
15 May 2020
Messages
15
Location
Maidenhead
The scanner's done a superb job on that (assuming you didn't have to do very much manually afterwards). Have yopu by any chance tried it on a really poor original yet—perhaps a C19 Bradshaw ot something equally difficult? (And if one may ask, what make/model did you go for?)
The original "scanning" was done in 2010 with two Canon PowerShot A3300 cameras on this home-made book cradle. I then used ScanTailor to do LOTS of manual cleaning.

1591104625062.png
I've since bought a new overhead device which reduces the manual effort drastically. You can read about it in this thread from 15th May: https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/timetableworld-com.204425/
 

Top