National Rail Enquiries

Our new mobile site’s up and running!

As promised in my blog earlier in the month – our new look mobile site has been launched today! On your mobile phone, simply browse to http://m.nationalrail.co.uk and you’ll see the new look site.

Information about delays to trains and alternative optionsIt’s especially designed to get you the information you need quickly & easily – just what you need when you’re on the move.

What’s new?
Disruption information is now easier to find, a red warning triangle on the front of the website shows when there’s major disruption, and all other travel news & engineering work is listed within the Changes to train times section.

The mobile site contains the live train running information for all trains on the UK network – why not test it out when you’re on your journey home tonight? Plan your journey or use the live departure boards to find out whether your train is running on time. You can monitor your train’s progress using the live arrivals board for your destination station, just find your train & click on it to see information about scheduled vs actual arrival times at each station on your route.

Plan a journey and find out about delays that might affect connectionsFor the first time the site includes the station picker drop down list – all you need to do is start typing the name of the station (or its 3 letter code) and you’ll be returned a list of stations which matches what you’ve typed.

Also new to the mobile site is our station information section, where you can find all the great information about the facilities at each station from car parking to refreshments.

Let us know what you think about the new site through our Facebook page, or through Twitter.

Two more things – with winter fast approaching, we’ve compiled a handy list of tools you can use to get information about disruption. Why not get yourself set up now to avoid being left out in the cold?

And finally – Christmas is fast approaching, check out our dedicated Christmas page to make sure you’re not caught out!

66 replies »

  1. The site might be new, but you surely you cut features. Where is the “Travel via” feature? where is the the option to select if we want to use trams, tube and buses or not?. The new version is unusable for anything but the most basic journeys.
    New versions are supposed to provide better functionality, not just a prettier interface.

    • Hi Diego

      Our old mobile site didn’t include the option to specify a ‘via’ station or any of the other advanced options, so we haven’t cut functionality. What we’ve tried to do it build on the most utilised options – such as the journey planning & live departure functionality. We’ve also taken the disruption & station information from the non-mobile site and have made them mobile as well.

      At present we don’t offer the ability to specify preferences for mode of transport either on the desktop or mobile site, as we’re primarily a rail travel information company.

      Thanks for your feedback though, we’re already looking at including some of the advanced options and will add your support to that.

      Cheers
      Lisa

      • With respect, that’s simply not true. Under ‘advanced options’ you could specify a number of features such as ‘Travel via’ and there was certainly more information on the old version. Personally I preferred the look of the old site, but I understand every company feels they need a facelift every few years to appear ‘fresh’.

        The one thing that is sorely missing is the ability to go to the full site. When there is no option to see all ticket prices and railcard prices, there is a want to force NR’s hand to show slightly slower, cheaper routes when it wishes to take you on a more expensive one, the only recourse is a link to the full site. Given the ability of iPhones and Android phones mobile browsers, there’s really no excuse for not having it. On my iPhone, the only thing I won’t be able to see on the main site is that stupid Flash clock (great clock, stupid idea whoever thought to implement it in Flash). It’s no loss; my phone can show me the time.

        I’m sorry if this reply comes across rudely, but it’s very frustrating when companies think they know best-and especially when they ‘forget’ old functionality that WAS there.

        • Hi Rob

          As you’ll see from our latest post, the intention is to put a link to the full site onto the mobile site as soon as possible (we’re aiming to do this by the end of the month). In addition, the ‘via’ option will also be added back in with the next release in April. The intention was for this to be there in the last release however the testing team found some issues with it. Apologies that I forgot about the advanced option being available – this was a genuine mistake, I’m only human!

          With regard to your comment that there was more information on the ‘old’ site – can you give me some examples and I’ll see what can get added into future releases? We’re always keen to listen to our customers opinions.

          Thanks
          Kathryn

    • Hi Mark,

      This is something we had a problem with in our testing of the release so we’ve pulled it out for this version, but when we release our next update in March, we’ll put it back in.

      Apologies for any inconvenience in the meantime

      Kathryn

    • Hi Mark,

      I can’t comment on the latest comment you left – WordPress apparently doesn’t like long threads of messages.

      Anyway, we’re testing the changes on our staging servers, we’re hopeful it’ll be live if not this week then next.

      Sorry again for the continued delay.

      Kathryn

  2. Really like the new design, it’s a vast improvement on the old one. The drop down station suggestions is especially useful.

  3. Seriously, you can’t just add a link that doesn’t forcibly redirect me to a reduced-content version? Or just not forcibly redirect me to a reduced-content site in the first place? Most mobile users, for the last year or so, have been using devices that are perfectly capable of using and viewing normal web pages: that’s why mobile internet use has increased so dramatically.

    Why is everyone launching obnoxious mobile sites now, just when nobody wants or needs them any more? If I wanted reduced content, I’d get an app.

    You have rendered your page unusable for me in most cases: I will have to find an alternative website.

    • Hi,

      Sorry you’re disappointed with the mobile version of the website. As I’ve replied to a previous comment, we had problems with the smooth transfer from mobile to non-mobile versions of the website during our testing. Rather than create problems for our customers we took the decision to remove this functionality and implement it in the March release of our website.

      Can you tell me what exactly you’re using the website for and I’ll see if there’s anything that can be done to assist you in the meantime?

      Thanks
      Kathryn

      • Hi

        I posted the orignal question. You ask what can be done to help? I work on the road and need to book advance tickets around 5pm each day for the following days travel i can no longer see what is available. I used to plan each journey using the postcode of my destination but this is also not available. I agree with “seriously” why force the mobile version on us please reinstate the non mobile version or give the mobile site a different URL

        Mark

  4. You need to let mobile users access the full website! I want to check season ticket prices and get diverted to the mobile site instead which has no facility for this

      • Thanks for the prompt reply! Looking at the previous comments I am concerned that waiting till March is far too long to leave mobile users isolated from the main site. Can anything be done quicker to offer users a divert back to the main site ? Thanks dave

    • Hi Dave, I appreciate it’s not ideal and have asked our developers whether anything can be done in the meantime. Will post back when I get a response, but will probably be in the new year now.
      Once again, please accept my apologies in the meantime.

      Cheers
      Kathryn

  5. I echo the others – there are serious deficiencies with this release of the level you don’t expect from a national service.

    Not allowing full site access is ridiculous and unnecessary. It doesn’t require any special web development, just provide a link to the full site with no forced redirect, it would take your developers about 5 minutes, and means mobile users like myself aren’t stuck with decreased functionality. The old mobile site DID provide options for journey planning via or avoiding a named station – I used it regularly, it was under the advanced options link. Now I find myself with no way to enter a journey via somewhere, and you don’t even let me get to the full site to do it! Seriously, join the 21st century! I will have to look for a third party website if you leave this until March.

  6. I can understand why it seems like a good idea to have a ‘mobile website’, but from my experience people who need to check live train times and plan journeys have the train times app already. I find the national rail website very resourceful and very useful. However not being able to access the main site from my phone is extremely frustrating. I can see that you will be updating the website in March to fasilitate this, but it must be said please do not under-estimate how many people use your main website from their phones.

  7. Another example of large organisation arrogantly going ahead and changing things without actually listening to what customers want, effectively forcing then to use something they do not want to.

    It is clear a lot of people want access to the full site yet NRE’s response is ‘wait until March, until then you’ll have to deal with it’

    It would be laughable if it wasn’t for the fact it is causing so many people inconvenience.

    If a problem was discovered during testing then the new version shouldn’t have been released until the problem was resolved, it’s not rocket science.

    • Hi Kevin

      The redesigned mobile site is actually as a result of customer requests that we improve the level of information available to mobile customers. With the previous incarnation of the mobile site, customers were unable to view detailed service disruption information nor station information.

      We are listening to our customer’s comments, and as Chris has explained in his latest blog published this week, we’re working with our suppliers to address the problem in a special release ahead of the next planned website update.

      As soon as we’re happy that we’ve got a solution that works we will implement it.

      Regards
      Kathryn

  8. Hello,

    I realise that this has been said before but I felt the need to reiterate how incredibly frustrating it is that I am no longer able to view the full version of the national rail website on my mobile phone. Whilst I appreciate that changes need to be made periodically and the new mobile version may be an improvement on the old one (I say may because I never used it) the fact is I can no longer satisfactorily use the national rail site on the go. I have never had a problem using the full version of the site on my phone, the iPhone like most smartphones, has the capacity to view webpages, so I am baffled as to why the new site automatically directs me to the mobile version & will not let me choose to view the full version. I understand that there were problems adding a link to the full site onto the mobile one but am questioning why therefore the mobile version is forced upon everyone using a phone. Surely more choice = happier customers. I will now, very frustratingly, have to travel home & use my laptop to book tickets as it appears the mobile site cannot display outgoing & return journeys all in one window or compare prices with a railcard. So as I want to book a return journey using my railcard it is, well, useless. An incredibly frustrating outcome which could so easily have been avoided with a simple click here to use the mobile version hyperlink on the main site.

    • Hayley – They don’t listen to customer comments! So many people have said you need to fix this before March but they have been ignored. As I said in my previous post, another example of large organisation arrogantly going ahead and changing things without actually listening to what customers want.

      Seriously worried about what the March update will contain if it actually happens. A load of other things will probably have been changed in order to cause maximum inconvenience to customers!

      • Hi Kevin,

        On the contrary we do listen to customers and are putting the change in as quickly as we can – it’s not a simple change, and we want to make sure it’s done properly.

        The March release will also *only* contain the change to the mobile site. Other changes that will be made at the end of April are changes that have been requested by our customers through our feedback channels. If there’s anything you’re unhappy with, please contact us – we’ll see if it’s something that others agree with & we’ll look to see if we can resolve it in a future release.

        Thanks

  9. Wow. Can’t believe the lack of link to the full site. If the devs are saying it’s hard then tou’re being had! The minimum you could do is redirect to the NRE homepage. We’re not
    asking for the journey to be carried across or anything.

    On the plus side you’re great at feedback on this blog. Very rarely seen these days on the internet!

    • Hi JB,

      The developers aren’t saying “it’s hard”, there are just various factors to consider. Your minimum requirement is exactly what we’re testing at the moment, as soon as we’re confident all our suppliers have everything working then we’ll implement the changes.

      Cheers
      Kathryn

    • Hi Derek, there were some problems this morning when we were introducing the redirect functionality. If you clear your cookies on the browser you should get redirected back to the mobile site. Let me know if you’re still having problems

      • Hi Thanks,
        just tried it again from 2 different android mobile devices (HTC Desire phone/Arnova 9 G2 tablet) both running android browser, having cleared all cookies/cache etc.

        Both are defaulting to main site if mobile url is put in, then failing with timeout.

        HTC has option in browser to enable mobile sites and if switched on does enable mobile site without redirection, however up until today this was not required and enabling it forces all urls to mobile sites which is not necessarily ideal.

        Unfortuneatly, tablet does not have this switch, thus keeps redirecting and timing out one journey planned, making the site impossible to use from this device, at least with the standard android browser.

        Much better without the redirect and let the user select either site according to their preference.

  10. Totally ridiculous. It’s now impossible to use the full site from a smart phone (eg iPhone). This is a growing and irritating trend to dumb down the experience to the lowest common denominator.

    • Hi Mike,

      If you browse to m.nationalrail.co.uk on your iPhone, there’s a link “Full site” at the bottom of the page. Click on this and it’ll take you to the desktop site.

  11. I still have the reverse problem, my androd phone with an android browser redirects to the main site, which fails with a time out error if the journey planner is used. This being the case, I need a link from the main site to the mobile site that does not redirect.

    You have a link from the mobile site to the main site and if you follow it you have a link back to the mobile site. But if you type in the th url for the main site you get a version with no mobile link.

    Put a link to each from both and take out the troublesome redirects. It was working fine until it was messed with Friday.

    The links will enable users to choose which one they want, mobile or main, not be forced to the site according to that the server detects. The system is being too clever and it no longer suits users.

    • Hi again Derek, I’m sorry you’re still having problems. When you say you type in the URL – can you confirm what URL you’re typing in? If you browse to http://www.nationalrail.co.uk from a mobile device (having previously chosen the Full Site option) it will take you to the homepage which does contain a Mobile Site link at the bottom.

      There are links at the bottom of both the Mobile & Full site pages linking to the opposite option.

      If you’re not seeing a Mobile Site link at the bottom of the full site page, please can you send me a screenshot of the bottom of the page to the email address you contacted me on last week.

      Many thanks

  12. Hi, sent you a .htm file from the browser opened with from the above link with the mobile link missing. Maybe it’s an old copy cached on a server out there but I keep getting it from PC or mobile devices.
    Anybody else out there seeing the same?

    Cheers

    • Hi Derek, I just emailed you directly. Basically, the desktop site from a computer will not show you the mobile site link. Your mobile devices *may* be caching the page. I don’t think it’s the servers as I’m not seeing any other comments like that, but still happy to investigate.

      Have sent you through some options!

  13. I’m seeing the same issue as Derek on my Android browser. I’ve always used the mobile site (m.nationalrail.co.uk) to use the journey planner because the journey planner on the main site “times out” whenever you do a search. This has happened since day 1 of having my Android phone so has not changed with the recent alterations to the mobile site. However, I am now annoyed that I cannot use the mobile site either, because when I point the browser to m.nationalrail.co.uk it decides to push me straight back to the main site. Why change this? If customers want to use either site, simply provide a link, don’t force it on them. These changes have now resulted in my phone being useless for looking at train times

    • Hi Paul, it’s a fault which I’ve logged with our suppliers. The intention is that there is a link from one to the other, but we’re obviously having some problems implementing this despite lots of testing.

      Please can I ask you to try to browse to: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/?r=mob on the Android device? This should switch you back to the mobile website.

      There should also be a link at the very bottom of the full site saying “Mobile Site”. If you could provide me with a screenshot of the bottom of the site as you see if so we can prove that it’s not being shown, then I’ll be able to provide this to our suppliers. You can email it through to nreblog[at]atoc[dot]org if you have time. If you could also let me know what make/model of the phone you’re using, whether you’re using the standard Android browser and if you have cookies enabled that’d be a great help.

      Once again, I’m very sorry for the issues you’re experiencing, we’re trying our best to get them sorted!

      Cheers
      Kathryn

  14. Some workarounds for those with problems :-

    From HTC desire (probably others), change the “Mobile View” setting to either on or off. Whilst on this will force you to the mobile version of this site, and possably mobile versions of other sites, not necessarily all (BBC news and AA routeplanner take you to main site with a mobile link whatever the view setting)

    From Android tablet, where browser does not have the “Mobile view” option, check the useragent settings (last enry) in browser settings. One of the options is “android” and the other is “desktop”. These appear to act similar to the “mobile view” setting above.

    So, whichever site is your preference you can view with the relevant settings changed.

    As before, I’d rather it still all worked without all this as it did before last Friday!

  15. There are still problems with this.

    After clearing all internet data from my HTC I was FINALLY able to access the mobile site again. I then followed the link to the normal site, which worked fine.

    However, the normal site STILL does not allow searches from mobile devices, giving the “Sorry, your session has times out” error every time. This has not always been the case, as in the past I have used the normal site on my mobile device witho no problems.

    Also, following the link to the mobile site from any page other than the home page leads back to the session time out message, and some of the other pages don’t even have the link at the bottom.

    The mobile site is not very useful because it doesn’t always show you every train and it doesn’t show you full fare information, and the full site is not very useful because it doesn’t work on mobile devices.

    Also, now typing in http://m.nationalrail.co.uk is taking me straight back to the full site, and in order to access the mobile site I now have to follow the link at the bottom.

    • Hi Vicky,

      I’m sorry that there’s still a problem planning journeys from the full site on an Android device. It’s an issue that was outstanding that was unfortunately masked by the mobile site going live in December and didn’t show up in our test environment. We are advising all Android users to remain using the mobile site until we have it resolved.

      We will look to include the full range of fares & journey opportunities in future releases of the website.

      The website will remember what your preferences as to Mobile or Full site. If you click on Mobile site from the website, the next time you go to the site you’ll be directed automatically to the mobile site (and vice versa).

      Kind regards
      Kathryn

  16. This was brilliant, however doesn’t seem to have been working for the last few weeks, on my phone anyway. Any ideas why??

    • Hi Helen, sorry for the delayed reply. If you browse to our homepage and click “Mobile site” in the bottom left, you should be returned to the mobile site. The phone will remember which site you preferred and direct you there in future.

  17. There is still no obvious link on any of the main site pages & none of the mobile urls allow use – all pda & mobile urls redirect immediately to main site! Very annoying!

    Please can u just allow us to access whatever url we wish to? Why must u insist on thinking u kno what we should be seeing rather than what we ask for?

    • Hi Hamish, sorry for the delayed reply. If you browse to our homepage and click “Mobile site” in the bottom left, you should be returned to the mobile site. The phone will remember which site you preferred and direct you there in future.

      • Sorry Kathryn, but u do not appear to have answered any of my points. To be clear:
        1. There is no obvious link to the mobile site from the main site. The bottom left of the main screen has “about this site”. Above that is an ad, above that is a list of links under the heading “train times & tickets – none of them mentioning anything about mobiles… if I select tools, then mobile sites, then click link m.nationalrail, it takes me immediately to the homepage of the main site!
        2. All pda & mobile urls redirect immediately to the main site (an example of this is nicely illustrated in my explanation of point 1 just above).
        3. Why must u redirect anything? If we manually type in a url, then why would u force us to go to another url that we didn’t request?! Just let us access the url we typed whether m. or www. or whatever else

        • Hi Hamish, sounds like there’s a problem with your particular device’s configuration on our servers. Can you please tell me the make & model of your phone? Also can you visit this site & copy and paste the results back to me: http://www.whatsmyuseragent.com/

          If your user agent isn’t configured on our servers as a mobile device then you won’t see the Mobile Site link.

  18. Almost everyone is asking the same question:

    Why are you forcing re-directs?

    It is very simple – when people type a specific URL, that is what they expect to reach.

    By all means add links to alternative versions, but let the user decide what they want regardless of user agent – save us the frustration and save yourself unnecessary complexity and cost 🙂

    Some excellent examples are m.tfl.gov.uk & m.gmail.com (both of which open a mobile site from ANY browser)

  19. Hi I am having the same problem that Steve May had above. I am trying to access http://m.nationalrail.co.uk/ on my mobile phone. It was working fine on Saturday 30th June but now it keeps redirecting me to the main site. Any chance of some help please.

    • Hi Roy, if you scroll to the top of the page, there should be an option “Mobile site” next to “Sign in” in the very top right of the page.

      If you click on that you’ll be redirected back to the mobile site.

  20. The link to your mobile website just directs to your normal website which now does not render well on my phone. It is either too small and then only enlarges to far too big to use with nothing in between. Any suggestions ?

  21. Hi! I always use the mobile version, but last week i needef to use the full site so i clicked on the “use full site” link. Since then i cannot use the movile version, nd everytime I type in a new journey it says my session has timed out, even after closing the browser and clearing my cach i cannot get back on the mibile version. Is there a link to switch back to mibile anywhere? I type in the mibike address but it redirect to full site every tine.

    Em

    • Unless you can prove you are a mobile (by setting the browser agent to a recognized mobile browser), then National Rail will always divert you to the main site – I assume because the full site maximises advertising space.

      It doesn’t seem to matter to them what you want or that many mobiles will not pass the information to the next screen (which results in the timeout error you are seeing) so the main site is actually unusable, so long as they can get some advertising onto your screen :-/

      The mobile app is quite good (altho unless you get the paid version, that will push ads at you as well)

        • Stock browser on Android 2.2.2 and Dolphin on same phone, also any browser I’ve tried (Firefox, IE, Chrome) on any Windows operating system (XP, Vista, Windows 7).

          All pages are the same as far as I know, but let’s start with homepage if you need somewhere to start (ie m.nationalrail.co.uk) – diverts to http://www.nationalrail.co.uk

          No mobile option available anywhere

  22. Hi – from today (23 Apr 2015), your site is forcing the full desktop version of the Live Departure Boards site onto my BlackBerry Q10 phone, despite my bookmark having the “m.” prefix rather than “ojp.”. Have you changed something in your site settings? I’ve got my phone set to NOT load the desktop version of sites, but yours is over-riding this.
    Many thanks

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