Beta version GTFS and GTFS-RealTime NMBS

Great news! A beta version of the timetables of the Belgian railway company NMBS is out now, including a realtime feed.

You can download your copy at irail.gent gtfs.irail.be/nmbs . The zip-file contains the GTFS-files. The realtime-feed exists out of two files: service_alerts.pb and trip_updates.pb. These are protobuffer-files that developers can use.

GTFS

The feed includes following train types:

  • IC
  • L
  • P
  • ICE
  • TGV
  • Thalys
  • TRN
  • EXT

The start- and enddate of this feed is 01/01/2015 – 12/12/2015.
It’s in Dutch, but English, French and German versions will come too.

For developers, here’s an example how train info is presented in Belgium:

liveboard

Screenshot Android application: BeTrains Shortcuts (@waza_be)

GTFS-RealTime

You can also find a beta version of realtime updates.

The feed includes:

  • Trip alerts
  • Service disturbances

Trip alerts will show when there are irregularities in a timetable. Irregularities can have a wide range of causes, ranging from strikes to issues with the infrastructure.  These irregularities and fluctuations will cause delays for trains. You can find this information in the trip_alerts feed. If you are searching for global irregularities, like disturbances or disruptions on the network, this information can be found in the service_disturbances feed.

Service disturbances are available in three languages: English, Dutch and French. Each service alert contains an URL linking to more information, a header (also known as summary) and finally a description.

Example of a service alert:

url {
translation {
text: "http://www.belgianrail.be/jp/sncb-nmbs-routeplanner/help.exe/nn?L=vs_himmap&tpl=showmap_external&messageID=8232&channelFilter=timetable&"
language: "en"
}
}
header_text {
translation {
text: "Roosendaal (nl) - Essen: Train broken down."
language: "en"
}
}
description_text {
translation {
text: "Train broken down.
Situation back to normal.
Further delays are to be expected."
language: "en"
}
}

If you are unfamiliar with Proto Buffers, there is an excellent guide on the Google developers website about how you can implement it into your application. Although the protobuffer-files look like JSON, they cannot be read without decoding.

We love feedback, so don’t hesitate to contact us via brecht@irail.be or add an issue on Github: GTFS and GTFS-RT

 

Psst, sneak peek for Google Maps

Sneakpeak Google Maps

 

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