Countdown - LineName = RAIL



The API documentation says that Countdown feed field “LineID” should not be displayed to the public but how else do TfL expect us to differentiate between three different routes to our users?

Today we have LineName=RAIL with three sub LineIDs of UL16, UL18 and UL51, the first and last of these are TfL Rail replacement services between Stratford & Romford (UL16) and Newbury Park & Shenfield (UL51). The UL18 seemed to be a London Overground replacement serving Seven Sisters but has since disappeared.

By linking these under LineName=RAIL it results in our users seeing a route that’s allegedly running between “Shenfield / Romford” and “Newbury Park / Stratford” which is clearly wrong. Therefore, shouldn’t LineName be unique for each of these variants?

Secondly, why can’t route numbers be allocated which are consistent across TfL information modes? By this I mean the TfL Service Status page shows London Overground replacement routes L1, L2 and S whilst TfL Rail shows replacement routes A and B but these are not what is presented in the Countdown feed. Imagine you are a user of these services and you know TfL make real-time bus info available in your favourite app, if you search for any of the above routes you won’t find anything. I’ve just searched the TfL website for stops 58388 and 91550 which I know the ‘UL16’ is stopping at (thanks to our app) but and don’t list them at all. Are they actually shown on the Countdown displays at these stops? If so, what route numbers are shown?




I did a nice diagram of all the “UL” replacement bus services in the data tables.


They are shown as “RAIL” on the displays the public see.