The aim of Try It Tuesday – if it can be as bold as an aim – is to share a tool a week which might be useful to journalists. It might be new, it might be old but forgotten, or it might be somewhere inbetween. It’ll be something I’ve found useful though and one I’d suggest spending 10 minutes getting to know.
What? Recenttraintimes makes use of the Network Rail API to record details of how reliable train services across the country are.
Why? Stories about train cancellations and associated problems are always talking points for readers, but freely-available data is often only available at operator level, making it almost useless for any publication not covering an entire region.
This tool lets you pick the train journeys you are interested in and see, amongst other things, what % are more than five minutes late, the average arrival time of the service in relation to when it was due to arrive, and how late it has run recently. It will also tell you how often services are cancelled and, for real data geeks, give you the choice of averages to focus on.
A great example of what open data can achieve – and a mine of stories waiting to be discovered.