The Darwin Webservice provides up-to-date train timing information for developers

Easier access to train information for developers

Developers can get faster access to live train information thanks to the launch of a new online registration platform.

In May the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) decided to give more developers access to its National Rail Enquiries Darwin system, which analyses raw data from various rail industry sources to predict the arrival times of trains and is paid for by train operators.

Users of the service previously had to go through a time-consuming licensing and approval process, but with the introduction of the new online registration system users can now simply agree to the terms and conditions at the click of a mouse.

David Brown, RDG lead on transparency and chief executive of The Go-Ahead Group, said: “The rail industry already publishes more information and data than many business sectors and leads the way among European railways, and we are committed to going further.

“The new platform will mean better access for developers to live train information, making it easier for even more passengers to get the most up to date information about trains where and when they need it.”

Prior to the changes made earlier this year a number of organisations and developers using the service were charged and required a license, but since May only exceptionally high-volume users whose services result in more than five million enquiries to Darwin in a four-week period will be charged.

Free access to Darwin has also been granted to public bodies, including Transport for London, Passenger Transport Executives (PTEs) and local authorities, regardless of how many requests for information their customers make.

Since the changes were made, the number of third party developers with access to the feeds has increased from 178 to 441, according to the RDG, which it hopes will mean customers have greater access to accurate travel information.

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