Note: If you are just starting out with the service use the JSON files. The CIF data is more suited to advanced users of the service and requires additional parsing compared to the JSON data.
The schedule data consists of Train Schedules, Train Associations and details of Timing Point Location codes.
A description of the scheduling process is available on the how scheduling works page. This describes how multiple schedules can be used to describe a specific train service.
Trains are sets of schedules identified by a common UID. A schedule for a specific train service can be uniquely identified by UID, Start Date and STP Indicator.
Types of file
There are two types of files:
- A full extract, a snapshot of schedule database valid on that day, which can be used to initialise your schedule database
- An update extract is produced each night, which can be applied to the previous update extract to bring your database up-to-date
Update extracts will specify how the schedule database has changed. It is important that the update files are processed in sequential order. Amendments may be received for schedules that are currently valid, i.e. the schedule has started running but has not finished yet. Changes will replace any previous version of a train schedule. Deletions will not be raised for schedules that have become historic.
The following formats are available from SCHEDULE Feed:
|JSON File Format||Full Extract||Daily||The schedules in JSON format are available for all operators, or for individual operators.|
|CIF File Format||Full Extract||Weekly||The schedules in CIF format are only available for all operators. A 'full' extract is available each Friday, and an 'update' extract is available daily.|
The JSON data files are generated overnight and will be available from around 0600. The CIF files are go through a different process and will be available from around 0100.
Note: Late-notice train schedules, which are not available through the SCHEDULE feed, are published via the real-time VSTP feed.
The schedule data is compressed using gzip and is downloaded from Amazon S3 via a private URL which is valid for a few minutes after generation. Authentication will be required either by logging in through the Data Feeds website, or by sending your username and password as part of the HTTP request. On successful authentication, you will receive a HTTP 302 (Moved Temporarily) redirect to the location of the schedule file. Requests are of the format:
where type determines the TOCs contained in the schedule extract and whether the file is a full schedule or an update file, and day determines which day's update file is downloaded. For example:
would download a full schedule file in JSON format for all TOCs. And if the CIF format is what you are after, add a trailing .CIF.gz to get the CIF format.
Values for type and day can be one of the following:
|type||day||Description||Example URL (JSON format)||Example URL (CIF format)|
|CIF_ALL_FULL_DAILY||toc-full||Daily all-TOC snapshot||Daily||Weekly|
|CIF_ALL_UPDATE_DAILY||toc-update-DAY||Daily all-TOC update||Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun||Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun|
|CIF_XX_TOC_FULL_DAILY||toc-full||Daily snapshot for TOC XX||Daily||Not available|
|CIF_XX_TOC_UPDATE_DAILY||toc-update-DAY||Daily update for TOC XX||Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun||Not available|
|CIF_FREIGHT_FULL_DAILY||toc-full||Daily FREIGHT snapshot||Daily||Not available|
|CIF_FREIGHT_UPDATE_DAILY||toc-update-DAY||Daily update for FREIGHT||Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun||Not available|
DAY should be replaced with the shortened version of the name of the previous day. For example, on Monday, Sunday's ('sun') update should be requested.
A list of TOC Codes is available. Note that the TOC code used in the URL is not the ATOC code as seen in schedule files, but the business code as used in Network Rail systems.
Downloading via curl
The schedule file can be downloaded from the command line using the curl utility (included with linux, versions available for other operating systems) with the following syntax:
curl -L -u username:password -o file.gz 'https://datafeeds.networkrail.co.uk/ntrod/CifFileAuthenticate?type=CIF_ALL_FULL_DAILY&day=toc-full'
(Thanks to Jules Self for figuring this syntax out.)
Downloading via C#
Below is sample code written in C# that will download files. There is also a last modified method that can be used to check if the file has been updated using the file header - without downloading the full file. This is useful if you quickly want to check every hour if a file is new compared to any you may have.
Associations and schedule validities are between a start date and an end date, and on particular days of the week. They each have a Short Term Planning (STP) indicator field as follows:
- C - Planned cancellation: the schedule does not apply on this date, and the train will not run. Typically seen on public holidays when an alternate schedule applies, or on Christmas Day.
- N - STP schedule: similar to a permanent schedule, but planned through the Short Term Planning process and not capable of being overlaid
- O - Overlay schedule: an alteration to a permanent schedule
- P - Permanent schedule: a schedule planned through the Long Term Planning process
Permanent ('P') schedules can be overlaid by another schedule with the same UID - either a Variation ('O') or Cancellation Variation ('C'). For any particular day, of all the schedules for that UID valid on that day, the 'C' or 'O' schedule is the one which applies. Conveniently, it also means that the lowest alphabetical STP indicator wins - 'C' and 'O' are both lower in the alphabet than 'P'.
This process allows a different schedule to be valid on particular days, or the service to not be valid on that day. For example, a schedule may be valid Monday - Friday each day of the year, but have a Cancellation Variation on Christmas Day and Boxing Day only.
Cancellation variations are usually within the validity period of the base (permanent) schedule, however it is possible to have a cancellation variation which has a 'valid from' date which is within one version of a schedule and a 'valid to' date within another version of a schedule. In this case, the variation applies to both. An example of this is schedule C33552 at the start of 2015, where a cancellation variation applied to two separate permanent schedules.
|Network Rail Open Data Feeds|
|Data Feeds||About the Feeds • Account States • Durable Subscriptions • Example Code ( PHP / C# / Java / Ruby / Node.js) • Advanced Uses • FAQ • Release Notes|
|Train Movements||Train Movements Feed • Train Activation • Train Cancellation • Train Movement • Train Reinstatement • Change of Origin • Change of Identity • Change of Location • TSPEED Field • Planned Cancellations • Cancellation Codes|
|TD||TD Feed • C-Class Messages • S-Class Messages • Train Describers • TD Berths|
|TSR||TSR Feed • Route Codes|
|SCHEDULE||SCHEDULE Feed • Schedule and Location Records • Association Records • CIF Codes • How Scheduling Works • Allowances|
|Reference Data||Reference Data Feed • TOC Codes • CIF Codes • Delay Attribution Codes • Identifying Locations (STANOX, TIPLOC, NLC and 3-Alpha Codes) • STANOX Geographical Areas • Train Planning data|