Accurate arrivals timing data for Elizabeth, Overground and National Rail

Are there more accurate services than Darwin? I confess I’ve been spoiled by the TfL data. It’s really pretty good and very accurate.

This isn’t true of Darwin, or at least the public service which is all that I have access to. I overlook the Chiltern line to Aylesbury so I can get a pretty good measure, the data is typically ‘out’ by between two and five minutes. On recent exploration of the Elizabeth and Lioness lines, Darwin arrivals data is typically accurate only to within a couple of minutes.

On the tube it’s a couple of seconds.

I know there’s a more fundamental service called TRUST, there’s also the Darwin staff service. I’m not sure how to get access to either of these - but before I go down that rabbit hole, is the data any better? Is there anywhere a more accurate source of data for these services (I’m thinking Elizabeth, Overground, Chiltern, Thameslink, Southern etc)? Any advice would be welcome. Thanks.

Nope. The Darwin “actuals” data is very very accurate. Use “ata” and “atd”. (the “etd” and “eta” are generted by the system to estimated times for on-station displays, the “std” and “sta” are the timetable times)

The data sometimes can take up to 17 seconds to arrive in the records, but for the most services the timing is both accurate and fast. If you want them on time, use the Pushport for the notification (as it doesn’t contain the seconds) and the SOAP client to get the seconds.

However the section fed by the TflL data between Harrow on the Hill and Amersham for Chiltern of no use to anyone - this includes the on-station platform displays.



OK, the answer to the question seems to be ‘yes’, there is good data available, but it’s not clear where from. The data you show bears no relation to the data I’m able to access from the public Darwin LDB Webservice using the GetArrDepBoardWithDetailsRequest - it doesn’t have ATA or ATD - doesn’t work to seconds and doesn’t have, among other things, the TrainID (9Y93). Is this the Darwin Staff system, or the Pushport - or something else.


You need to avoid the LDBs, they’re not that useful - monitor each train using the train trackers. use the GetServiceDetailsResult() interface to get the trains by their rid.

The WDSL is


pushport - see Darwin:Push Port - Open Rail Data Wiki

That’s the Staff service, right?
My public access token doesn’t work for the staff service -sadly.
How do you get a valid access token (if you’re not National Rail staff)?


I think I just applied though the portal. The “staff” feed is public data, you don’t need to actual staff to use it…, LDB Staff Version Web Service Documentation

OK, well I’ve tried to register for the Staff version. The online portal doesn’t work (it gives a server error) so I’ve sent an e-mail. I’ll let you know what happens.

An update, because I’m not getting anywhere.
The online registration system at
doesn’t work. It gives a server error when you try and submit the form. I believe that this has been the case for over a year. So the next step was to e-mail [email protected], who replied after some time by sending me a .pdf file and asking me to email this to [email protected]
Which I did.
Another week’s delay and a response which points me to the National Rail Data Marketplace and asks me to use the ‘self registration’ there.
Which I did.
That requires registration and then subscription to individual services. What I’m looking for doesn’t immediately appear to be there, but whether it’s there or not I can’t tell, since the feeds that I’ve tried to access don’t work, for different reasons. I’ve raised tickets on the faults, but I’m not very optimistic to be honest, the whole site is a ghost-town with a discussion/introduction boards with no posts and no evidence of users or activity. The documentation can’t be downloaded and it’s really unclear how you’re supposed to use any of the services.

So I seem to have hit a dead-end.

Hi. As you suspect, the feeds available from the Rail Data Marketplace are different to the SOAP API I think you were asking about.

You could try asking the Rail Delivery Group if they could provide you with access to the SOAP Staff Version API.

You might also like to try asking in the openraildata-talk mailing list; perhaps someone there has some ideas.

Update: The nice lady at the Rail Delivery Group did try her best to steer me to the Rail Data Marketplace, but the data that I want simply isn’t there. I think in the end she got a bit fed up with me and has given me a key.

Using the Darwin SOAP service is not easy. If there’s anything at all it doesn’t like about your query you’ll just get a 500 error with no detail as to what you’ve done wrong.

This is a key resource if anyone is struggling:
… but it’s not 100% accurate (I think). I still can’t get GetServiceDetailsByRID to work at all.