About Realtime Trains

Who we are

Realtime Trains is operated by swlines ltd. We also operate RailMiles, a journey logging system for rail enthusiasts.

swlines ltd is led by Tom Cairns and we have a decade of experience in rail software. We primarily operate in developing systems to aid customer experience and information and have been involved in a number of high visibility projects over the last five years.

If you want to contact us about doing work with us, please email Tom.


Realtime Trains was launched in October 2012 to provide live real-time information using Network Rail's then new open data system. Its predecessors were 'Timetables' and 'Timetables 2' which date from several months previous after the release of timetabling information. Indeed, some of our very early users may remember 'Rail Staging' which was part of our very early development efforts!

Version 1 (October 2012)

The first version, released following the release of Network Rail's Open Data, integrated timetable data with the train running information originating from TRUST.

Version 2 (August 2013)

Over the spring and summer of 2013, Realtime Trains was rewritten to support a number of new features including:

  • Our still unique detail on trains approaching and arriving at station platforms
  • Train Describer (signalling) based reporting becoming primary, giving more accurate reporting
  • TfL integration for services between Marylebone and Aylesbury via Amersham giving greater visibility
  • Countdown on high frequency metro routes

Version 3 (October 2019)

During 2016, we commissioned a number of artists to work on assisting to rebrand the service and this has led to the biggest change in our history. It helped us build the new foundations for the plans on our roadmap.

Know Your Train (March 2020)

We launched Know Your Train in March 2020, with ScotRail, bringing more information about the rolling stock service than ever seen before on the British railway network. LNER joined the family in June 2020.

Track Your Train (September 2020)

We launched Track Your Train in September 2020 with the aim of making train-specific running information information easier to access. The world of data is now at our fingertips and we can find almost anything out through various websites - but that doesn't mean that you can understand it easily! Track Your Train provides train-specific running information about current location, forward progress and any potential causes of delay that we can identify.