National Rail Enquiries

Some updates from National Rail Enquiries

I hope everyone is well and enjoying the spring sunshine! In this blog I’m going to provide some updates covering:

–    Code of Practice for using our Real Time API’s

–    Website outage in April

–    Changes made over the winter – to TrainTracker & the mobile apps

We have a selection of API’s for use by third parties to create their own applications We have recently reissued our Code of Practice – developers are encouraged to read the updated Code of Practice for using our Real Time API’s, which covers how to apply for licences to use our information feeds.

The main services NRE can offer are:

– Live departure and arrival boards

– Journey planning (although this application is not owned by TISL so there are restrictions in our ability to sub-licence)

– Stations information XML

– Train Company information XML

– Disruption and engineering work XML

– Promotions XML

– Ticket XML

For further information please join our LinkedIn group to engage with us and the community of developers.

We’ve recently hit a new milestone; this year we’re celebrating the 10th year of the interactive website & now we’re proud to serve over 10 million unique visitors per month across our online channels – that is the desktop website, mobile site and our apps.

Unfortunately we don’t get everything right and I’d like to apologise for an outage to the desktop website ( on Friday 29th March. This occurred due to human error, which caused the servers to go into a loop, and resulted in requests to visit the website failing. This is disappointing for us, as it’s the first major outage for 36 months. We’re working with our suppliers (who have identified the cause) to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.


Towards the end of last year, we relaunched our automated TrainTrackerTM service which allows customers to retrieve live train times (including delays and cancellations for today & tomorrow and plan journeys up to 3 months in advance. The new service has some great benefits for customers, not only is it more accurate – we’ve seen an 8% increase in successful recognitions of what the customer’s requesting, but it allows you to say your origin and destination in one go, making your call quicker. Where things do go wrong, all calls are now recorded & stored for up to 3 months so that we can listen to the call in the event of a customer getting in touch with our Customer Relations team about it. You can use TrainTracker by calling 0871 200 49 50 (calls cost 10p per minute from a BT landline, calls from other operators and mobiles may be higher).

At the end January we launched updates to our smartphone apps. Now customers can choose to receive disruption information through the app – so you’re alerted on your phone when there is a problem on the route(s) you travel on.  Our iOS app now supports iPhone 5. You can download the app from here

I’ll write more in the next few weeks as we have a few major developments in the pipeline, including an app for iPads and improvements to the cheapest fare finder.

3 replies »

  1. Used TrainTracker for the first time yesterday, and will not waste my time or money again. I needed to know if the 19:30 from Birmingham to York would be delayed because of reported problems near Derby on 2nd August. I have a “standard RP” accent, but the system failed utterly. It offered a series of laughable interpretations, eg “to Birmingham”, “from Frome” and I ended the call after it decided I wanted to go to Penrith. TrainTracker would make excellent material for a broadcast sketch, but for train info it is worse than useless.

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