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.
The feed includes following train types:
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:
Screenshot Android application: BeTrains Shortcuts (@waza_be)
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:
text: "Roosendaal (nl) - Essen: Train broken down."
text: "Train broken down.
Situation back to normal.
Further delays are to be expected."
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.
Psst, sneak peek for Google Maps