"An illiterate child from a small town in India falls asleep on a train and ends up lost in Calcutta, unable to find his way back home. Twenty-five years later, while living with his adoptive family in Australia, he locates his lost hometown using memories and Google Earth. (David Kushner, Vanity Fair)"
59% of trains delayed is not an accurate representation. IR has what is known as an operating schedule provided for intermediate stations which differs from the published schedule. The intermediate and published schedules are synchronized at major junctions along the way. The operating schedule has slack built in. A train running late by upto an hour usually arrives on or before time at major and terminating stations. A case in point right at this instance 65% of the trains are on schedule, checking during the morning hours in India will show a higher on time percentage on time as trains approach terminating stops.
Correct. I don't know if this is still true, but there used to be an effort to keep a greater percentage of trains on time by delaying already late trains further (by prioritizing on time trains over them).
As a railway brat, I miss long distance train travel like crazy.
This is true mostly for the (very) long distance trains. For local (not Mumbai local or elk) or maybe between two cities or so, the trains are quite late. Especially in North India, the part of the country I hail from.
It also has to do with punctuating the journey with many small stations and always being added halts.
I am sure "being delayed" had a lot to do with the fond memories :-)
When I was a kid and used to go on vacation with family, the late train was so good for me. It meant few extra vacation hours before schools and homework would start. I hope it would become the same again. BTW, only my lifestyle has changed. Train timings are still there where they were 15 yrs ago or maybe have become "more relaxing" :-)
Indian Railways has numerous monitoring stations. (mainly at railway stations) These monitoring stations update train's location when trains pass 'em.
In between such points, IR may know train's realtime location, but it is not made public.
It is mentioned on the site that there are 6000 monitoring stations. Which means that, on average, there is a monitoring station every 11 kms (66k Km/ 6000). Considering an average speed of 80kmph, the location shown on the app can at max be 8.25 minutes old.
Usually, all railway lines must know the position of every train at any time. This is simply a requirement for avoiding crashes. As far as I know, there are usually pressure/induction sensors at regular intervals that detect train positions. Maybe that is what they are using?
Electric railways usually only supply actually used sections of the railway with power, so they have to know train positions, too.
I check this before I leave every morning. I live just north of the Muni Metro East yard, so I can tell when a nice empty train is about to go into service and run over to the station just in time to catch it.
(In theory you can enable every train and bus line at once, but after a certain point the page never loads)
10.2c(iii) is pretty clear that this use is explicitly allowed:
"you may use the Google Maps API(s) to track assets such as cars, buses or other vehicles, as long as your tracking application is made available to the public without charge. For example, you may offer a free, public Maps API Implementation that displays real-time public transit or other transportation status information.)"
By "mapped live" I was hoping to see the trains move on the map. Even if it wasn't 100% accurate, it would dramatically boost the cool factor to see the trains animated along the tracks. Just an idea. I love what you've already built.
I am not sure how this can be useful for some one. When I want to take a train journey, I would like to know my train's position a few hours before I leave or when I am already at that station. I would not be sitting in front of this website and locating my train. A simple service of informing me about the delay by SMS would just be good enough. Also, the webpage loads a bit slowly on my laptop. On my smartphone with a 3G connection, it does not work at all.