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.

Version 1 (October 2012)

The first version, released rapidly following the release of open data, integrated timetable data with the reporting information originating from TRUST.

Version 2 (August 2013)

Over the spring and summer of 2013, the service 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

During 2016, we commissioned a number of artists to work on rebranding the service and this has led to the biggest updates yet to Realtime Trains. The new site, launched in late 2019, represents the first stage of these updates and will be followed in due course.