Using Realtime Trains

Discussion in 'Allocations, Diagrams & Timetables' started by grumpyxch, 22 Apr 2015.

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  1. grumpyxch

    grumpyxch New Member

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    I'm new to this forum, so hopefully this post is in the correct location.

    I have recently started using Realtime Trains to study the trains passing through my local station (Christchurch in Dorset). I haven't seen any freight trains through here for some years, so I was surprised to see how many freight paths there were according to Realtime Trains. On Realtime Trains, the timetables for these freight paths have banners that state the train doesn't always run, but when it does the banner will be deleted.

    Today there were two freights, in opposite directions, passing here within 20 minutes of each other. Neither timetable showed the banner, so I assumed they were running. I was at the station to witness this 'historic' occasion, but neither showed, and I waited for some time after they were due.

    I checked Realtime Trains this evening, and neither train timetable had an indication they were late or didn't run.

    Am I misunderstanding Realtime Trains?

    Any advice gratefully received. Thanks
     
  2. Lrd

    Lrd Established Member Jobs & Careers Assistant

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    Can you post a link to the two trains you thought were freights so we can look in to it?
     
  3. Bald Rick

    Bald Rick Established Member

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    Main advice is to get down the station in about 15 minutes...
     
  4. louis97

    louis97 Established Member

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    Some freight services are advertised as Run as Required, however just because a freight service does not say this - does not mean it is definitely going to run. Freight service paths should be looked at with a pinch of salt until it reports a departure from its origin.
     
  5. Lrd

    Lrd Established Member Jobs & Careers Assistant

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    Never mind, found them, here and here.

    It looks like they were activated but for whatever reason didn't run. The realtime running times go bold when its running, for example.
     
  6. Tomnick

    Tomnick Established Member

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    Both auto-call schedules, presumably? That means that they're automatically "activated" in the system (two hours before booked departure time at their origin?) whether they're actually required or not. Don't ask me how they decide which should be auto-call and which should be manual-call though!

    Does RTT know whether a service is auto-call before it's actually called?
     
  7. louis97

    louis97 Established Member

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  8. Freightmaster

    Freightmaster Established Member

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    Basically, yes.;)

    RTT does exactly what it says on the tin - it enables people
    to track the progress of passenger/non passenger trains in
    real time once they are on the move.

    What it does not and cannot do is accurately predict which
    freight services will run before they have set off, as many
    trains are just 'ghost' paths which rarely/never run and even
    those which do run are often shown as running Monday to Friday
    when in reality they only run once or twice a week.


    My full time job for the past 20 years has been to study the
    patterns of freight services all over the country and publish
    regularly updated timetables for popular locations which only
    show the regular runners.

    My timetables are intended to act as a companion to RTT,
    to enable people to see in advance what they are likely
    to see at a particular location on a given day of the week,
    so they can choose the best day/time of day to go out.



    MARK
     
  9. grumpyxch

    grumpyxch New Member

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    Thanks to all (and to Realtime Trains too). I'll just have to use RTT and hope. They were correct the other day when they listed a 'funny' going from Eastleigh to Weymouth and back, then doing it again. It turned out to be 70408 running light on what I can only assume was a test run.

    Regards
     
  10. Freightmaster

    Freightmaster Established Member

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    You don't have to hope - just wait for the train you are interested in
    to be shown as having departed from its origin: bold times in the
    [Realtime] column together with entries in the [Dly] column,
    like this Freightliner service from Felixstowe from earlier today:
     

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  11. D6975

    D6975 Established Member

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    As a caveat - be warned, if you're sitting near the origin point of a freight it can sometimes go past you before RTT registers it as having left its origin.
    Happened to me a few weeks ago at Doncaster.
     
  12. Phil H

    Phil H Member

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    Why are all those locations listed, but sometimes there is a time reported and sometimes a no report?
    I can understand it if a train booked for say Northampton, but passes up the fast lane through Weedon, but the ones were it is simply a point between two others yet shows no report?
     
  13. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Established Member

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    Another feature of RTT is that it only tracks timings on the booked path.
    If a train is diverted en route it will "vanish" at the diversion point.
    Say a train booked via the Trent Valley is diverted via Birmingham, RTT will lose it at Rugby and it will reappear at Stafford.
    The diversion is not tracked.
     
  14. louis97

    louis97 Established Member

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    Not every point is a mandatory timing point, therefore we don't have any data provided in the data file by Network Rail - even some mandatory points don't have this as well! It is the aim, in the next release, to have every point possible at reporting to report, give me some examples and I can ensure they will report, always a few I miss!
     
    Last edited: 25 Apr 2015
  15. The Planner

    The Planner Established Member

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    It works the other way as well. TRUST will show Off Booked Route reports at points on the line which it picks up times for but we have no need to show in the plan as they aren't of any relevance to us. Trains south of Bristol do this at places like Nailsea etc, if I recall.
     
  16. Elecman

    Elecman Established Member

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    How far back can you check the times of trains within Realtime Trains?
     
  17. najaB

    najaB Veteran Member

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    According to the FAQ, seven days.
     
  18. Crossover

    Crossover Established Member

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    Yes, 7 days to search but you can fiddle the URLs to look at specific train running for much longer than that :)
     
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