Alert Me by Messenger

Introducing exclusively to National Rail Enquiries users a unique personalised disruption messaging tool brought to you via Facebook Messenger.

We are trialling a new tool that provides personalised up-to-date travel information during periods of disruption to be sent to you directly via Facebook Messenger.

Information includes:

  • Updates on delays or disruptions for your journey and whether you are eligible for compensation
  • Alternative trains should your train be delayed or cancelled
  • Options for single-leg journeys (multi-leg journeys to follow)

Those trialling it can simply choose to sign up via the ‘Keep Me Updated’ button to receive notifications.

For more information please see below for a list of Frequently Asked Questions around the new functionality.

Geting Started

 

How do I sign up to get alerts for my journey?

There are two ways to opt-in to receive journey alerts:

On the National Rail Enquiries website:

  1. Click or tap on the 'Keep Me Updated' button when searching for a journey on the live departure boards or Journey Planner
  2. You will receive a message from National Rail on Messenger welcoming you to the service, and you will have the option to provide additional journey information to tailor the alerts e.g. "Do you take the journey from A to B regularly? Would you like to receive disruption information each time you travel?"

 

You will receive a confirmation message and your selected journey is saved to the 'My Journeys' list within the Messenger page.

Through National Rail Enquiries on Messenger or Facebook:

  1. Search for National Rail on Facebook or Messenger
  2. Click or tap on the 'Get Started' button on the National Rail Messenger page
  3. Select 'My Journeys' from the menu and follow the instructions to tailor your alerts

 

You can opt-in to receive alerts on both regular or one-off journeys. Regular journey alerts will provide updates for any relevant services around a defined time period e.g. All trains departing on or shortly after 8am Monday to Friday running between London Paddington and Oxford station. One-off journey alerts will only relate to a specific selected service.

Once the service is set up, you will start to receive alerts about the train journeys you have selected, including delays, cancellations and possible alternative routes (from the same operator) in the event of disruption. Please note that there may also be other alternative routes available from different operators via National Rail Enquiries.

Do I always need to be signed into Messenger or Facebook for the service to work?

Yes. Whilst you do not need to be signed into Facebook to receive alerts, you will still need to be signed in to Messenger. You will also be required to sign in to your Facebook or Messenger account to complete the initial opt-in process.

Can I store alerts for regular journeys, or do I need to sign up again every time?

You can store alerts for up to ten regular or one-off journeys within the 'My Journeys' section of the Messenger app. You will not need to opt-in again each time you want to add a new alert.

Can I get alerts for any train journey anywhere in the UK?

At present, the alert will only provide you with personalised messaging for single-leg journey on the network. As we look to improve this BETA we will look to include the ability for customers to receive personalised messaging for multi-leg journeys between any two UK rail stations.

How do I select journeys relevant to me?

You can choose to receive alerts on any train journeys that you select on the National Rail Enquiries website through the journey planner or live departure boards. Alternatively, you can input specific train journeys to be kept updated on disruption by searching for the National Rail in the Messenger app directly.

How do I remove alerts for a journey that I no longer take?

Alerts can be easily removed by clicking or tapping on 'My Journeys' within the Messenger interface and selecting the journeys that are no longer relevant to you. Simply swipe the selected journey to the left, and click 'DELETE' to stop monitoring the journey.

Can I edit a saved journey or change the frequency of the alerts?

Alerts can be easily edited by clicking or tapping on 'My Journeys' within the Messenger interface and selecting the journey that you wish to update.

Managing Journey Alerts

 

How many journeys can I store alerts for?

You can store up to ten journeys within the 'My Journeys' section of the Messenger app.

I'm going on holiday - can I temporarily turn off my alerts?

Yes, all journey alerts can be temporarily paused in the 'My Journeys' section Of the Messenger page. Simply swipe the selected journey to the left, and click 'TURN ALERTS OFF' to stop monitoring the journey.

I'm a regular commuter - can I set up regular alerts?

Yes, you can set up alerts for regular repeat journeys that run around a defined time period such as a regular weekday morning commute, e.g. All trains departing on or shortly after 8am Monday to Friday running between London Paddington and Oxford station.

How do I cancel the alerts completely?

You can opt-out of all alerts in the Messenger app by selecting 'Opt-out of messages' from the 'My Account' section of the menu. By opting out, all ongoing disruption messaging is cancelled and all saved journeys/routes are wiped. Once all existing alerts are removed, you will need to opt back in to monitor disruption on new journeys.

Disruption Messaging and Re-routing

 

Will I be alerted about cancellations as well as delays?

Yes, alerts are triggered for both train delays and cancellations, and alternative route options will be provided where available using the same train operator. There may also be other alternative routes available from different operators via National Rail Enquiries.

Will I get an alert for my journey even if it's delayed by just a minute or two?

Delay messages are only triggered when the selected train is delayed by 10% of your total journey time plus an additional three minutes. For example, if your journey is 40 minutes, we will only notify you of disruption if the predicted delay is greater than 7 minutes.

If the train delays change, will I get real-time updates?

Yes, for example: "Your train has made up time and is now running only a few minutes late" or "The delay to your train to b is now n minutes"

If I take the alternative route that has been suggested, will my original ticket still be valid?

Alternative routes will be provided where available, using the same train operator as the original journey (there may also be other alternative routes available from different operators via National Rail Enquiries).

Passengers are always reminded to check their ticket is valid on the alternative service.

How accurate is the information about the train delays, and where do you get it from?

Information is sourced from the industry standard DARWIN system, which is also used to power on platform departure boards and the National Rail Enquiries web site and mobile apps. Please note that this is a brand-new Beta service, and while we endeavor to provide information as accurately as possible, we cannot guarantee the service will be perfect. The service is under active development, and we will be adding and improving functionality on an ongoing basis.

Do the delay messages still work if I'm taking a train journey involving multiple legs and train changes?

The current functionality will only provide you with messages regarding delays, cancellations and alternative routes for single leg journeys at present. We are looking at enhancing the BETA in due cause which will enable customers to receive all of the above for train journeys involving multiple legs and connections.

Dealing With Issues

 

I do not have a Facebook or Messenger account. Can I still access the alerts?

This service from National Rail Enquiries is only currently available for users with a Messenger or Facebook account. Note that it is possible to have a Messenger account without signing up to Facebook — you can sign up using your mobile phone number.

My train was delayed but I did not get a message - why not?

There are a few possibilities why you didn't get a message. The most likely reason is that the delay on your train journey may not have fallen within the defined parameters of 10% of the total journey time plus 3 minutes. For example, if your journey is 40 minutes, we will only notify you of disruption if the predicted delay is greater than 7 minutes. Alternatively, you may not have been signed in to your Messenger account at the time of the delay or you may not have had phone signal if you use Messenger on your phone.

I cannot find the 'Keep Me Updated' button on the National Rail Enquiries website. Where is it?

The 'Keep Me Updated' button can be found in the following places on the National Rail Enquiries website:

You suggested an alternate route after my original journey was delayed but did not tell me it was going to cost more money, why not?

Messages suggesting alternative routes always advise the passenger to check that their ticket is valid before travelling on the new service. For example: "The following <TOC> trains should get you to X quicker. Check your ticket is valid'.

Data Protection

 

Do you store my data and what do you use it for?

The service only collects data for the purposes of providing disruption notifications, and by clicking on the 'Keep Me Updated' button or 'Get Started' on the Messenger app, you are consenting to the receipt of messages on Messenger for train services which you are actively monitoring.

In order to do this, we are required to store data on which train services you use, and your interactions with our web site and mobile apps. We DO NOT transfer any information to Facebook or Messenger, and your data is only used for the purpose stated above. We DO NOT store any sensitive personal information such as your name, address or phone number in order to provide this service. You can opt-out of the service at any time by following the instructions within the Messenger app.

Now that I have opted in, will I get inundated with spam and third-party advertising that I do not want?

Absolutely not. If you opt-in to receive disruption updates about selected train journeys, you will only receive informational messages related to those services.

Last updated:   12 April 2019