back to article We're going underground, and this time it's not an inebriated banker crapping themselves, but Transport for London

Welcome to a tube-sized edition of The Register's column of reader-spotted signage silage, with a Transport for London (TfL) screen displaying its undergarments for all to see. Today's entry takes us back a few short months, when the UK branch of Vulture Central could still be found lurking in the city. Spotted by Register …

  1. Peter Mount

    That API is public

    I consume a lot of those API's from TfL, National Rail & Network Rail & it's quite normal for those feeds to contain data not for public consumption, even though the feeds are freely available.

    Normally that information isn't to be presented to the public mainly to stop confusion - i.e. for NRE you can get a platform number for a train but it's suppressed so you shouldn't show it - mainly to stop people crowding on a platform before it's known the train will actually go there - e.g. late platform change. Busy stations can also suppress them again for crowd control.

    The TfL one you can get from

    1. Test Man

      Re: That API is public

      "Normally that information isn't to be presented to the public mainly to stop confusion - i.e. for NRE you can get a platform number for a train but it's suppressed so you shouldn't show it -"

      HA! I'm going to check out the API when I'm on the concourse and find out the platform before they display it, from now on!

      1. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: That API is public

        Unless you really want to go into the api there is an easier way. Use or instead. The former has signal maps as well like you see in control rooms for extra geekiness.

        1. mikecoppicegreen

          Re: That API is public

          Beat me to it :)

      2. mikecoppicegreen

        Re: That API is public

        use the realtimetrains website. already plugged in to that API.

    2. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: That API is public

      I get my platform numbers using another search platform and not NRE - see my other post. At certain london terminus there is only one platform used for a particular service. The gates are therefore electronically locked until the incoming train has been emptied.

      At a tube station I use fairly frequently on my way into work there was a newly installed advertising screen. It was cycling through the adverts but I felt sorry for those people who had paid for them. In the centre of the screen was a message from Windows (7 I think) asking if the owner of the machine wanted to connect to a nearby network. I had a picture of that but my SD card died and the picture with it.

      At one (ex Silverlink now) Overground station they replaced the easily read at an angle and at a distance train indicators. They were replaced with harder to read ones but more of them to compensate. These incorporated a time display so they dispensed with the clocks on the Platforms too. These displays were switched on after installation showing a unique IP address on each one (wish I'd had my camera/phone) as well as version info etc. I noticed somebody copying down the IP addresses and I'm fairly confident he wasn't connected to the station redesign team. When these were showing all that info again a year or so later after an outage the IP address was now masked with XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX .

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

        Re: That API is public

        Attuned to Paddington Station in the early noughties..... my train home was always the 18.35 from Cardiff\Swansea, always 10 minutes late & accessible from the over bridge, once passengers disembarked, (myself & the few regulars who shared this secret) just waiting for the cleaning crew to start & replace the paper signs in the windows, taking my seat 6 minutes before the sheep on the concourse were let through the turnstiles.

        Beer because I was already comfy with one for the journey, as everybody scrabbled & fought to get to a seat.

      2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: but I felt sorry for those people who had paid for them

        Think of it as another form of ad-blocker.

  2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge


    Looks like one of the web monkeys has accidentally directed the browser to the data API, rather than consuming it in their script.

    1. captain veg Silver badge

      Re: Oops

      Not necessarily. Internet Explorer is capable of rendering XML much the same as HTML with an appropriate XSLT sheet. That may be why it's IE in the pic.

      Nice to see the correct spelling of "colour" and ProperCasing of the tags -- none of that stupid camelCase nonSense.


  3. Kubla Cant


    The default browser on the corporate Windows build is IE11 - seven years old and doubly superseded. Every time it starts up it displays that stupid message about removing add-ons to speed up browsing. Other browsers just get on with it, but IE has to waste time putting the blame for its crapness on somebody else.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Add-ons

      Firefox has exactly the same functionality. Users don't like to wait and if the browser is loading a lot of add ons it can significantly impact start up.

      Why do you think that's stupid? Because hating ie gets upvoted?

  4. IGotOut Silver badge


    It's having trouble keeping up with the price hikes.

  5. Jolyon Ralph

    Available for all...

  6. Muscleguy


    Except at places such as Elephant & Castle the route to different lines/ingress/egress is along the platform of other lines and at peak times this causes problems. Having to negotiate this at rush hour with NZ based family. I was forced to await another overstuffed train as there was simply no more room for me and my case.

    We all met up at Kings X though. I feel for those who have await trains at what is a pedestrian thoroughfare masquerading as a tube platform. Why put in a through tunnel when there's a perfectly good platform?

    On visits to London I am always reminded why it is good not to live there any more. Finding out that disabled accessible stations often aren't (one of the party was in a wheelchair) was embarrassing as it was I who had the info up on my phone to aid routefinding. An accessible station with a half metre step up to the train was a particularly memorable example of the disconnect.

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: a half metre step up to the train was a particularly memorable example of the disconnect.

      A lot of platforms have a raised section bringing the platform level up to train level (about one carriage length). This is in a designated part of the platform. (TFL call them Platform humps). I thought it would be quite easy to find a list of them and whereabouts to wait on the platform, but it looks as if this precise information doesn't seem to figure on their accessibility map, resulting in your frustration.

      To work properly, the position of this raised area should be consistent throughout the whole line. So all that's needed is a list like this: Victoria Line Northbound: Travel in Carriage x from the front (carriage y from the rear); Southbound: Travel in Carriage y from the front (carriage x from the rear).

      Understandably a lot of NSFW-type material comes up when searching this topic on google. It might be helpful to know that they are often referred to as Harrington Humps.

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