To help people who have mobility needs get around the railway, live travel information about Network Rail stations will soon include information about the status of lifts and escalators.
Although it won’t prevent a situation where someone needs to find an alternative route if a lift is out of order, it will at least prevent the problem of someone getting off a train only to have to wait for the next train because they can’t get off the platform.
Network Rail is releasing an open data source with live data on the status of lifts and escalators at around 370 stations nationwide, building up to the full complement of 463 stations over the next 12 to 18 months.
Being an open data source means that third-party travel smartphone apps and websites will also be able to include this information in their services.
Network Rail said that it will be making the information available for passengers on its own website in the next few months. Working together with the Rail Delivery Group, plans are also in place to incorporate the information into the National Rail Enquiries website.
This latest development, delivered through Network Rail’s research and development programme, uses monitoring devices on lifts and escalators to create constant information on Network Rail’s lift and escalator assets. Currently, 80% of lifts and 60% of escalators are fitted with this equipment with the remaining sites to be installed over the next 12-18 months.
For developers, the API can be accessed from here.