Mobile GB Rail Live Departure Boards

I’ve created some lightweight live departure boards for mobile use, in the same vein as my mobile friendly pragmatic tube status. The idea is to keep it as minimal as possible, so it loads and renders quickly, even on a slow data connection. Both use an XML API, but these are written in C# rather than PHP (as .NET is my preferred stack and I wrote a book on building web apps with it). They also support the staff version of the LDB API, with extra information.

This is what the standard board for Muir of Ord / Gaelic: Am Blàr Dubh (MOO) looks like.

Standard MOO

The staff version shows services further into the future. The status for each service is also a proper DateTime object, rather than just a string as in the normal version.

Staff MOO

When you look at the details for each service you can see the stops and the schedule / status for each.

MOO to Wick

You can also easily send a WhatsApp message to someone with the details of the service. This uses the URI pattern whatsapp://send?text=message for support on the most platforms (including ones that don’t support Android style intents for inter-app communication).

I was going to use an SMS URI but this isn’t supported by all clients. For example, Signal still doesn’t support RFC 5724 URIs such as the sms:?body=message used in InstaBail.

The staff version again provides more detail, such as platforms for each calling point. It also has a consistent ID (the headcode shown and a RID) rather than a different Guid for each station. This allows you to compress an ID to only four Base64 URL safe characters, if you only care about the current day.

Staff MOO to Wick

You can also view passing points, even if they’re not stations and only have a TIPLOC.


You can use my Huxley project to get this data in JSON format. For example, here is what the demo server returns for the staff board all Falls of Cruachan (FOC). This is a very quiet station so there may not be any services.

Falls of Cruachan

However, if you arrive by public transport you can get a discounted tour of the pumped storage hydro plant.

P.S. I’m available for hire.

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