Realtime Trains follows on from the 'Timetables' site at traintimes.im, and is built on the same codebase of what was intended to be 'Timetables 2'. Timetables launched in late 2011 following the release of timetabling data from Network Rail.
Realtime Trains, itself, launched in October 2012 following around a month of work collating together the open train movement raw data feed against schedules. It has since been expanded to make use of the train describer signalling feeds and also uses London Underground's Trackernet to provide additional information.
Realtime Trains makes use of a variety of data sources and brings them all together to create this site.
Some of the information on this site can't be as accurate as we'd like it to be. Train running data is, mostly, processed automatically from trains moving around the national network. However, some areas (in particular, rural areas) don't report automatically and are reliant on control rooms or signallers to put in the data manually.
Realtime Trains is run by swlines Ltd, owned by Tom Cairns. Tom is a 4th year Computer Science undergraduate masters student in the Electronics & Computer Science academic unit at the University of Southampton.
Realtime Trains has a small team of volunteers behind it improving the quality of the data that we present to you. The work they do is invaluable and between them have spent many hours sitting on railway stations and trains measuring services to the nearest second! This team currently primarily consists of Tom Cairns, Mark Heaton and Louis Rawlings.
Realtime Trains is hosted at Bytemark in York, just next to the East Coast Main Line.