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Saved by Ben Smith
on February 2, 2009 at 11:27:40 am

UK Trains


Disruption alerts for UK train services by Twitter

supported by backstage.bbc.co.uk


2nd Feb: The heavy snow-fall in the UK has overwhelmed most of the official websites of the train operators.  The BBC feeds @uktrains uses are up and working well, but operators appear to be slow passing on disruption news.  To compenate, we are re-tweeting useful travel information from followers and directing people to http://www.kizoom.mobi/ which is providing official live service information via their mobile website.

Inspired by this tweet from MP Tom Watson and enabled by the excellent BBC Backstage's travel feeds, this prototype service tweets disruption alerts for 25 UK train operators.  The original data is processed and shortened to less than 140 characters (in most cases) by Yahoo Pipes and tweeted via Twitterfeed which also adds a short-link back to the original BBC report.  Tweetlater provides the automated welcome DM.

@uktrains - Alerts for services from all 25 companies below.

For alerts limited to the operators that interest you, follow individual rail operator(s) from the list below:

@uktr_arrivawale - Arriva Trains Wales

@uktr_c2c - c2c

@uktr_cc - CrossCountry

@uktr_chiltern - Chiltern Railways

@uktr_eastanglia - National Express East Anglia

@uktr_eastcoast - National Express East Coast

@uktr_eastmid - East Midlands Trains

@uktr_firstcc - First Capital Connect

@uktr_firstgw - First Great Western

@uktr_gatwickexp - Gatwick Express

@uktr_grandcent - Grand Central Trains

@uktr_heathrowco - Heathrow Connect

@uktr_heathrowex - Heathrow Express

@uktr_hulltrains - Hull Trains

@uktr_islandline - Island Line
@uktr_londonmid - London Midland
@uktr_londonover - London Overground
@uktr_merseyrail - Merseyrail
@uktr_northern - Northern Rail
@uktr_scotrail - First ScotRail
@uktr_southeast - Southeastern Railway
@uktr_southern - Southern
@uktr_southwest - South West Trains
@uktr_transpenex - TransPennine Express
@uktr_virgin - Virgin Trains

I built this in the hope it would be useful to people like me who regularly travel by train and would like an easy way to be alerted to disrupted services.  However, it also highlights that National Rail Enquiries - the people who ought to be making this information easilly available to you - prevent even non-commercial re-use in the T&Cs of their site, prefering to charge you 25 pence per delayed train for alerts via SMS.  This service is enabled by BBC Backstage's more common-sense terms which this service respects.

For any questions, suggestions, requests, complaints or kind words please contact me @bensmithuk.  I'm tracking occaisional blog and media coverage here.

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