Real Time Information


Hidden away but critical to everything we deliver is ‘Darwin’, our real time train prediction application. It powers all of our real time services, providing train movements and predictions for the whole National Rail network.

Darwin is a complex application that takes in data from a variety of sources and uses predictive and heuristic technology to convert that data into useful predictions of train running.

As well as the scheduled timetable and movement data, Darwin receives real time operational changes made by the train company and the National Rail Communication Centre. Darwin powers all of our customer-facing real time services as below, plus a growing number of third party services:

  • Journey Planner
  • Alerts – sent to customers who have subscribed to receive them
  • TrainTracker™ - our real time automated voice recognition service
  • TrainTracker™ Text – an SMS version of the Journey Planner
  • Departure Boards - a web-based station departure board
  • Contact Centre Journey Planner – the journey planner used by our Contact Centre Advisors

In addition to providing real time information to our services, Darwin also provides real time train running information to some stations’ Customer Information Systems (CIS); currently stations operated by Avanti West Coast and  Chiltern Railways.

To learn more about Darwin, and the other open access data feeds provided by National Rail, visit the 'Developers' tab above.

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Last updated:   02 June 2020