RailMiles has been receiving a number of upgrades behind the scenes over the last few weeks and months since the last full update in January. This is an update on what’s been happening during the lockdown period.
We’ve been testing a few updates to the mechanism in which RailMiles moves automatically between our two datacentres recently and completed these upgrades today. Although it is fairly rarely down, RailMiles does have the occasional period where we have to take it completely offline for upgrades and this should be substantially reduced from now on.
On that note, we had an incident on Wednesday 10th June where the system failed into a state where both datacentres were acting in a read only state. This started at approximately 1730 and was intermittent until approximately 2230. The primary fault was a result of the communication links between both database services being broken and the system entered a state known as ‘split brain’. In order to avoid corruption and loss of data, both database servers in the cluster entered a read only state while the communication link was broken. Further investigation has shown this was an issue with the firewalls between both sites and has now been resolved.
Mileage Engine Subscription
A subscription option to the new Mileage Engine will be made available on 22 June, and I’ll post more about that before then. The price, as previously advertised, will be £10 per year and will be available for personal use only.
Subscriptions for commercial use are available by contacting email@example.com.
As mentioned in March, we will be offering extensions to accounts that held a valid subscription between 16th and 27th March. Any user entitled to this extension has been contacted by email confirming their eligibility. If you have not received an email and were expecting one, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The details of the extension are as follows:
- If you held a valid account between 16th and 27th March 2020 and have not opted out by email, you are eligible for an extension to your subscription.
- A user with an eligible account may take their extension, when the facility becomes available, by clicking on a button in My RailMiles. You can opt out by not clicking the button.
- The extension will be half the number of days between 16th March and the day at which you take the extension. The maximum extension is six months. For example, an extension taken on 12 June would result in 44 days being added to the account.
- The extension will be added to an account as if a subscription renewal was made, e.g. an expired account will become active again.
It is currently unclear when discretionary journeys by rail will become possible again, so it’s hard to say when the facility to take an extension will be made available. In addition, an individual’s risk tolerance or health may mean that if we offered a blanket extension at the same time they may not be able to make use of the extension. It is for this reason that we are offering the ability to choose when you take the extension.
When discretionary journeys become possible, the recent improvements to Realtime Trains in providing train allocations will be fed through to RailMiles. Supported services will be automatically populated with the allocated vehicles as is visible on Realtime Trains.
Text Messaging Pricing
For a trial period from 15 June until further notice, the price of some SMS bundles is going to be reduced. The new prices are as follows:
- 100 journeys - £4.50 (unchanged)
- 300 journeys - £10.50 (previously £11.00)
- 500 journeys - £16.00 (previously £17.50)
- 1000 journeys - £30.50 (previously £33.50)
These rates will be available while we evaluate their impact on the costs of providing the service and the potential for increased demand. The prices for the 100 journey bundle cannot be reduced to the cost overheads in payment processing.