Progress on my printable timetable generator

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jis

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One of the neat thing that indianrailinfo is that they include the current known average delay at each station and passing point. Of course the latter is their interesting ability to actually publish all CP passing times. You can do this only if there is a single source of information for planned timetables and actual operating times.

The other thing that they are able to do is when a train is diverted due to IRROPs they are able to provide a detailed titmetable on the diverted route for that particular run(!) which I thought is really neat. This would be impossible in the Potamkin PSR world that we live in.
 
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Ryan

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I then sat down to do the Empire Builder and discovered three more idiosyncracies requiring extensive additional coding.
That looks amazing. Another "small" feature request that may not be so small - the 7/27 and 8/28 portions of the page would be more distinct if the background shading were different colors from each other (and different from the main lavender shading). Purely a "nice to have" that's probably more trouble than it's worth, but it would help readability out a bit, I think.
 

neroden

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So, the main effect of not having timetables is that people can't plan trips and don't take Amtrak.

With the removal of the mask requirement, I think discouraging people from taking Amtrak is now a good thing.

Timetables will not be released until sanity comes back.
 

daybeers

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Not sure how the situation has changed in this regard knowing it would expire on May 3rd anyway?
 

neroden

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I remain completely demotivated. If the trains are unsafe, and they are unsafe, I have no reason to encourage anyone to figure out how to ride them. After all, I won't be able to take a train again until they restore safety to the trains.

However, my program remains open source and anyone can use it -- and it really is pretty functional now. (I got a bunch of stuff related to connecting buses and split/join services done just before Amtrak decided to make the trains less safe.) Christopher Juckins of juckins.net is using my program to make timetables and he said he might send a set to RPA soon. The current Amtrak GTFS has bugs but a debugged one is expected soon.

If you use it to make and publish timetables, just remember to comply with the licenses. Program modifications need to be published under the same licence (AGPL). Printed timetables need to give credit to me as the author of timetable_kit (this is done by default).
 
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neroden

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Christopher Juckins appears to be waiting for the debugged GTFS. (The current one is, among other things, missing the Southwest Chief entirely.)
 

acelafan

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Christopher Juckins appears to be waiting for the debugged GTFS. (The current one is, among other things, missing the Southwest Chief entirely.)
I have been working on it and learning Github at the same time. I do need the latest/fixed GTFS data and I will ask Neroden a few questions on the side about the config files that are used in creating the timetables.

I did check what I could for the LD routes and they are basically correct on the RPA website. Of course the corridor services need to be updated, especially the NEC. I am pecking at this in my free time during the evening, so progress is slow.
 

neroden

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Eh, so despite being demotivated, I fooled around with it a bit. Here's the Vermonter.

And a custom timetable designed for upstate NY to Vermont trips, which is a personal desire of mine. I may never be able to take a train again if nothing is done about Covid-safety, but if I *do* get to, this is going to be one of my first routes travelled.

I think this demonstrates both the flexibility of the timetable generator, and the reason why timetable design is partly an art and can't be fully mechanized.
 

Attachments

  • vermonter.pdf
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  • upstate-to-vermont.pdf
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neroden

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BTW, I've advocated for the LSL to leave three hours earlier from Chicago (around 6 PM) for a long time. That was the old LSL schedule. I've explained its benefits for people going to Syracuse, NY, and Boston before... but it *also* repairs the connection to the Vermonter. This timetable makes that clear.
 

neroden

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Felt like programming today, so I fixed a load of minor technical issues. Still waiting for an updated GTFS from Amtrak.

I thought the Ethan Allen timetable with integrated buses was pretty. I also have a variant for the upstate NY connections. And the LSL, and both directions of Empire Service.
 

Attachments

  • upstate-ny-to-western-vermont-services.pdf
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  • lake-shore-limited.pdf
    59.9 KB · Views: 17
  • empire-w.pdf
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  • empire-e.pdf
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  • ethan-allen-express.pdf
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daybeers

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Looks great! Any plans to put the mileage on the side like the old timetables and current ASM data? It helps with figuring out trip length and where the padding is.
 

neroden

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Mileage is a frequently requested option. It would require substantial programming work including acquiring a data source for the mileage. I have no incentive to work on this right now. It's certainly not impossible.

If it's ever possible to travel by train again, my personal priority is making timetables which make trip planning for car-free trips easier, and the mileage doesn't. So I'm probably never going to prioritize mileage. The generator's open source, so the usual rule applies.... Feel Free to implement it...

For making car-free trip planning easier, a high priority is documenting connections and documenting service which runs at alternate times (as done in the Vermont timetables I just generated). So I'm more likely to focus on reinstating all the "connecting service" information from Amtrak's timetables than anything else.
 

neroden

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There is a fairly obnoxious blocker for doing a few of the timetables: I made the design assumption that when a train's schedule was different on different days fo the week, Amtrak would use a different train number. Turns out this is usually true, but not always. I can fix the assumption but it'll be several days work and I'm not working on it right now. The good news is that this only applies to a few trains (the Crescent is one of them).
 
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