Limitations of the Live Departure Boards service.


The system that produces the Live Departure Boards is automated and has some limitations:

  • In general, any lateness shown is based on reports of trains passing monitoring points located around the country. If a train encounters delay, the extent of this delay will not be known until the train passes the next monitoring point on its journey.
  • Where monitoring points have not reported when we expect, or where there is some other uncertainty about the status of the train, we may mark some trains with an asterisk (*). This could mean that the train has been delayed and has not yet passed the monitoring point. It could also mean that the monitoring point has failed and that the train is in fact still running as previously expected. We will not be able to determine which is the case until the train passes a monitoring point and sends a report. Customers are therefore advised to place less reliance on times marked with an asterisk.
  • Most train operating companies are able to notify details of cancellations and schedule changes (such as additional stopping points) that affect their trains. They can also notify predictions of lateness on a train's journey to supplement information provided by the monitoring points. This is a manual process and not all changes may be notified. Further, Heathrow Express, Gatwick Express, Hull Trains, Eurostar and operators of charter trains do not have the facilities to notify changes to their trains.
  • Trains for which the train operating company has provided no information and no reports have been received from monitoring points will be marked 'No report' or 'Starts Here'. Expected arrival and departure times will be shown when a report is received.
  • Any failures of monitoring points or other equipment will not prevent the 'Last updated' date and time on station pages being updated as new trains are displayed on each page. Estimated times may therefore be out of date even though a recent date and time is shown.
  • Trains can make up time and may arrive and depart earlier than the estimated times shown on this site.
  • Some trains operate over 'circular' routes, where the train returns to the same station later in its journey. The Live Departure Boards on this site will usually show the ultimate destination of a train, though displays at the station may show a different destination on the train's first visit. Trains are marked 'Circular Route' on this site if they are identified as visiting the displayed station later in their journey. Click on a train's origin or destination to see a page of more detailed information on the train (the 'train's page'), including which stations the train will call at and the stations previously visited.
  • Each train's page gives details of any previous calling points in the train's journey, with the timetabled departure time from each. If a movement report has been received giving the train's actual departure time from a previous calling point, then this will be shown in the Actual Departure column. If the train's departure wasn't reported but a report is received later in the train's journey, then 'No report' will be shown in the Actual Departure column for the unreported station. For all the other previous calling points, an estimated departure time will be shown in the Estimated Departure column. If there is no estimated departure time available, then 'No report' will be shown in the Estimated Departure column.
  • If a specific train's 'Operator' box is blank, the service may call at additional stations besides those shown.
  • Many stations are equipped with Customer Information Systems that display and/or announce details of the trains calling at the station. Live Departure Boards obtains information from some of these Customer Information Systems in order to enhance the information available to customers. Discrepancies may exist between the information showing on Live Departure Boards and the information showing on Customer Information Systems or being announced. National Rail Enquiries endeavour to keep the information on Live Departure Boards as accurate as possible and welcome feedback where this is observed not to be the case.
  • The service may not be available for short periods during the night while routine maintenance is carried out.

You may find it helpful to check if there are known problems that may affect your journey. Click here for a current list of known disruptions to train services.

Comments on the Live Departure Boards service are welcome. Please use our feedback form.

This system is an information system only. The information is made available 'as is', and the Association of Train Operating Companies, National Rail Enquiry Service and Thales Information Systems offer no guarantee or warranty in respect of the information on this web site. Your use of this information and any reliance you place on it is at your own risk. The Association of Train Operating Companies, National Rail Enquiry Service and Thales Information Systems shall have no liability for any loss or damage, whether direct or indirect, you suffer as a result of relying on any fact or statement which is proved to be incorrect.

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Last updated:   07 March 2013