"Twitter" Status Updates aka @TfLTravelAlerts


Back in the day I wrote the "OvergrondBot" for Twitter which LOROL as it was impressed enough with to get me to write software for them…

Since then Twitter created a better system for travel notifications (it was customizable in various ways as I recall) but @TfLTravelAlerts seems to have since vanished…


What’s the current status of this service? And given that it looks like Twitter is falling apart as “public megaphone service” suitable for travel alerts, is there some kind of replacement for this an RSS feed or something?

I mean I’m happy to scrape the three status apis (Tfl non-River, National Rail and TfL River) and show them to users, but what users actually like is to know changes of status.

Hi @briantist. Unfortunately, we had to close that Twitter account (along with several others) a few years ago. When we first created that account, Twitter presented Tweets chronologically, and you’d always see the latest Tweets at the top of your feed. In 2016, Twitter started presenting Tweets non-chronologically. The effect of this was that customers would see old and outdated Tweets. It just caused way too much confusion since customers would often see a Tweet that a disruption had occurred earlier in the day, but not the Tweet that said it had been resolved.

We currently advise customers to check status updates on the website or in TfL Go. We realise customers would like to be notified about disruptions, and we are actively working on addressing this point.

I take your point about users wanting to know changes of status, and this is also something we are looking to address.

Of course, we also provide status information via our Unified API, and many third-party applications have used this data in interesting ways. One I particularly like is tubestatus.net. They have quite a nice timeline view that shows how the status of each line has changed over time.

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I guess the original purpose of Twitter was a “group-SMS” service, which is what it was when I signed up for it back in Aug 30, 2007 and mirrored those “Teletype” feeds you could pay for from Reuters, so yes, having the messages out of order was never useful.

Thankfully these days I work with a team who do the front-end user-display things so it’s up to them what it looks like, but I suspect some visual notification of the recently change of line status might be helpful.

The curated feed was good as it was being done with as human touch… I guess I need to use Bard or something to do that!