Reading station escalators

Network Rail’s ‘open data’ programme begins

The working condition of 1,500 lifts and 300 escalators across nearly 500 stations will soon be available for passengers to view in aid of helping them plan their journeys through stations with real-time knowledge of the access available.

This state-of-the-art development, delivered through Network Rail’s Research and Development Programme, uses monitoring devices on lifts and escalators to produce an application programming interface which gives live asset condition to third parties through an open data source.

Currently 80% of lifts and 60% of escalators are fitted with this equipment with the remaining sites to be installed over the next 12-18 months.

Previous open source data releases have swiftly been snapped up by app and web developers using the information to create easy to use apps that are hugely beneficial to passengers when planning journeys.

Speaking about the development Martin Frobisher, Network Rail’s Technical and Engineering Director, said: “Putting passengers first is at the heart of everything we do and with our greater use of technology and remote condition monitoring of thousands of our assets, we can leverage the brilliance of our UK based app developers to turn this data into something really useful for our passengers, especially those with accessibility needs.

“And with the continuing ‘Access for All’ programme, we are aiming to double the number of stations with lifts on the network over the next 10 years, helping more and more passengers to easily access Britain’s railway.”

Image: Network Rail 

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