[iRail] train statistics

jonathan orban jonathan_orban at hotmail.com
Mon Jan 24 15:46:11 UTC 2011

Hi all,

First of all, thanks for the service. I have just started to use irail.be and I find your UI much more simple and fast than railtime.be. 

I have a suggestion for the future. I looked at the archives section of the mailing list and didn't find anyone speaking about it so I'm sorry if this is just something that you guys already discussed billions of times, but I thought it was worth discussing it...

What about recording all the data generated by infrabel? I would see 3 direct applications that would be very valuable for all travelers:
1) Statistics for each train: Because I take the train everyday, I know that the 8h02am IC train between Nivelles/Nijvel and Brussels is almost always on time. But the 8h28 IC train between the same stations is almost always 10 minutes late. It took me about 2 weeks to figure that out. Casual travelers should have access to such info to be able to select between two trains in advance. After discussion with colleagues and fellow commuters, it seems like everyone has his little recipe to get to work on time... What about making this public and based on facts?
2) Automatic completion of the "compensation for delays" form: There are very few people who apply for compensations for frequent delays. This is mostly because of the hastle to fill in the form. If it were automatic, plenty of people would start filling in the form. More people applying for compensations would probably urge the nmbs-sncb administrators to improve train punctuality.
3) The possibility to verify independently the global punctuality of the sncb-nmbs and evaluate as well the punctuality for specific lines or moments of the day. The official numbers are that about 87% of the trains arrive on time but a study from test-achats/aankop taking numbers from commuters (and hence for peak hour trains) gave a rate of 65%... What is the punctuality rate during peak hours? Publishing that kind of statistics would also probably urge the nmbs-sncb to improve train punctuality...

Is it allowed to record such data?
How difficult would that be technically?

How much data would that generate per day?
How much would it cost to record the data and save it on a server?


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