The SCHEDULE feed is an extract of train schedules from Network Rail's ITPS (Integrated Train Planning System), converted in to JSON format. Network Rail are not planning to make raw CIF files available.
Schedules can either be downloaded for all TOCs, or for individual TOCs. Two types of schedule file are available - a 'full' file which contains a snapshot of all schedules at that point in time, and an 'update' file which can be applied to an older set of files to bring them up-to-date.
The CIF User Specification is available from ATOC's website, which details the format of the CIF file and the fields within, and should be read in conjunction with these wiki pages.
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 datafeeds website, or by sending your username and password as part of the HTTP request. On successful authentication, you will receive a 403 redirect to the location of the schedule files. 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 for all TOCs.
Values for type and day can be one of the following:
|CIF_ALL_FULL_DAILY||toc-full||Daily all-TOC snapshot||Daily|
|CIF_ALL_UPDATE_DAILY||toc-update-DAY||Daily all-TOC update||Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun,|
|CIF_XX_TOC_FULL_DAILY||toc-full||Daily snapshot for TOC XX||Daily|
|CIF_XX_TOC_UPDATE_DAILY||toc-update-DAY||Daily update for TOC XX||Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat, Sun|
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 for figuring this syntax out.)
Schedule data is contained in the schedule file in JSON format, with a single JSON record per line. The file can be parsed line-by-line to extract the data required. Each schedule file contains:
- A header row
- Zero or more association records
- Zero or more schedule records
- and an end-of-file (EOF) record.
Each association and schedule record has an action - either 'create' or 'delete'. These are used in update files to add or remove records from the master schedule. In full files, there will be no 'delete' records. Update files must be applied sequentially to a full file.
Associations are relationships between two schedules (i.e. a main train and an associated train.) There are three types of association:
- NP - Next Train. Not present for all schedules, but indicates the UID of the next service that the vehicle on this service will work
- JJ - Join. Occurs at the end of the associated train's schedule.
- VV - Split. Occurs at an intermediate location of the main train's schedule and indicates another train services that part of this train will form.
Associations may be for the same day (S), or cross midnight either backward (P) or forward (N) depending on the date indicator field.
A schedule record comprises of a header containing a schedule UID, data about the schedule (including whether it is a train, bus or ship) and validity dates, and an ordered list of locations and times at which a particular service should arrive, depart or pass.
- Originating locations will always have a WTT departure time and optionally a public departure time
- Intermediate locations in a schedule will have a passing time if they are a mandatory timing point, or an arrival and departure time if the train carries out an activity at that location
- Terminating locations will always have a WTT arrival time and optionally a public arrival time, which may be some minutes later than the WTT time
- A location may have one or more activities associated with it - for example, U for locations where the train calls to pick up passengers (i.e. not available for alighting), D for locations where the train calls to set down passengers (i.e. not available for boarding).
- A location may have engineering, pathing or performance allowances
See the schedule records page for more information.
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
- O - Overlay schedule: an alteration to a permanent schedule
- P - Permanent schedule: a schedule planned through the Long Term Planning process
For any date a permanent schedule ('P') is valid, it may be overridden by an overlay ('O') or a planned cancellation ('C'). However, if any two schedules appear to be valid for a particular day, the schedule with the lowest alphabetical STP indicator wins.
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.