I thought it was about the right time for an update to what’s going on with all things Realtime Trains since the last proper update a couple of months ago before events overtook us. I hope you are all staying safe during these somewhat challenging times - it’s somewhat odd to write about a website that is about trains when we are being advised to avoid using them right now. Nevertheless, life must carry on and we look forward to when we can once again use the railway as we did before.
A number of small updates have been added to the site and they’re summarised at the bottom. Both the biggest and smallest change, other than Know Your Train, will be the introduction of a favicon to the site from today.
Know Your Train
Since the last update in early March where I covered the introduction of GB Railfreight locomotive allocations to the service, we’ve added several more operators to the list of now being available on the site. ScotRail and Caledonian Sleeper are now both available. Know Your Train was launched as part of the introduction of ScotRail’s allocations and you can find out more about it here. You can see a full list of supported operators and train types on the site now at About Know Your Train.
Since the launch, there have been various improvements made to Know Your Train and you can know easily see the number of coaches on every service in detailed location searches now. You can now also see full facility information onboard on the detailed version of service pages.
Work is continuing on upgrading the API and there will be a new self service API portal made available soon: it will replace both the public API and commercial API. This new portal is built on the same architecture that currently supports the commercial API and, hence, be somewhat more reliable.
A number of systems updates have been continuing behind the scenes and the load balancer infrastructure that underpins what you see when you visit the site has been improved substantially. The new infrastructure has increased redundancy, capacity for growth and will allow us to reduce the amount of time it takes to move between data centres when we need to in the future.
Summary of updates
In chronological order since the last update, on the website:
- Add ScotRail, Caledonian Sleeper allocations
- Introduction of Know Your Train to the site
- Adding more Know Your Train data to detailed pages (location, service)
- Improvements to the build of train images
- Add About Know Your Train info page to summarise available TOCs
- Add favicons
- Add font preloading into the HTML body (thanks to Sam Grace Sneddon)
On the backend (processor and supporting systems):
- Fix timezone related issue on the GMT/BST switch
- Improve train allocation handling for ScotRail services in STP overlay timetables
- Add support for searching for rolling stock by identity (not available until a later date)
- Fix issues with selective gzip handling on the frontend web servers
- Rebuild the load balancing infrastructure in both data centres