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Information for Journalists and Bloggers

This version was saved 13 years, 4 months ago View current version     Page history
Saved by Ben Smith
on February 23, 2009 at 11:23:04 am

I'm happy to talk about @uktrains and why I created it.  You can contact me:



Previous media coverage is here.


Key points:


  • I built the @uktrains service for Twitter at zero cost, in 2 days to provide users with free disruption alerts for any of the 25 supported train companies they choose.  The service works well under extreme load when official sites fail (such as during the February 2009 snow) because Twitter is architected to support massive numbers of users such as during the Obama inauguration.


  • National Rail and the train operating companies' websites are not a convenient way to get travel news. Their website terms and conditions prohibit all re-use (including non-commercial and personal) of the data they publish and they enforce these restrictions. This is not how to behave on the modern web and is not good customer service.


  • Convenient alerts (by SMS) that are available from National Rail cost 25p each, which is at least 20p more than the cost to send.  Train operators should not attempt to profit from the failings of their services.


  • Train operators should provide service information through multiple channels including social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook which allow them to interact with their customers.





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