Incorrect mode returned in journey results

Good Day Londoners,

Our application has been making use of the following API call which obtains journey information from Heathrow Terminals 1-2-3 to London Paddington

https://api.tfl.gov.uk/Journey/JourneyResults/1000105/to/1000174?mode=tflrail&app_id={api_id}&app_key={api_key}

As of 2019-11-25 at approximately 11am, the API call has seen an increase of intermittent “(500) Internal Server Errors”. To note, this is not a rate limit issue as it occurs on an unused API key too, well within the limit.

When data does return successfully from the API call, the information itself does not seem to be correct.
This is seen by noting the mode of the API request being tflrail and the mode of the results is returned as national-rail specifying Heathrow Express as the train used.

The intention of the API call is to get the TFL Rail journey as documented in the timetable
here > http://content.tfl.gov.uk/paddington-heathrow-19-may-14-december-2019.pdf
linked from > https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/tfl-rail/tfl-rail-timetables.

As I understand it, this TFL Rail track is part of the Elizabethan/Crossrail service which is not in full operation yet - but makes use of this part of the track for the time being.

Any help would be appreciated in identifying what might have changed in the API or operationally.

Hi @Greg_Star welcome to the wonderful world of TfL APIs

The most common reason for getting a 500 back from https://api.tfl.gov.uk is that the system thinks you are “hammering” the interface. It’s not just your key, the limits can come from your IP address.

TfL Rail is a national-rail service as far as the API is concerned at the moment, as it’s a TOC.

Hi @briantist, thank you for the warm welcome.

Our test app_key/id and server/ip are different from the live credentials and both get the error. If you try the API call posted, it is bound to fail sometime within a 15 minute period if queried once a minute.

Error 500 aside, and granted tflrail == national-rail as mentioned, is there a way to get the journey information of the route in the specific tfl-rail timetable supplied in the original post?

@Greg_Star

It’s conceptionally easier to get the timetable data from the NRE Darwin services

https://wiki.openraildata.com/index.php/NRE_Darwin_Timetable

TfL-Rail is the “XR” operator code and and the Heathrow Express is “HE”. You can get the whole days timetable via FTP, or use the live departure boards for Paddington (PAD) to Heathrow Central (HAF).

http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/ldbboard/dep/PAD/HAF/To

Thank you @briantist, this is exactly what we needed and has resolved our issue. Appreciate it!