Darwin Data Feeds

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About Darwin

Darwin is the GB rail industry’s official train running information engine, providing real-time arrival and departure predictions, platform numbers, delay estimates, schedule changes and cancellations.  It is the only system in the UK to take feeds directly from every TOC customer information system (CIS), combining it with train location data provided by the railway infrastructure manager, Network Rail. 

Darwin data powers most online channels including all National Rail Enquiries products, retailing websites such as trainline and redspottedhanky, all TOC real-time digital channels, as well as the digital products made by hundreds of independent and commercial developers including Google Maps and The Cloud. 

A programme to connect Darwin to CIS screens in every station in the UK was completed in 2015, meaning that if you use Darwin data in a digital product, the information shown in that product will be consistent with the information shown on departure and arrival board screens in almost every station across the country.

In addition, Darwin powers our Historic Service Performance webservice (HSP). HSP allows customers to see the real time historic performance of trains over periods of up to one year. The data feed allows customers to see right time and reliability metrics - reliability is defined by trains that were either cancelled or didn't arrive within a user-defined level of lateness (e.g. 30 minutes).

Darwin Data Feeds

Darwin data feeds are openly available to everyone.  Registering for access couldn’t be easier, simply sign up online through the National Rail Data Portal and your access credentials will be e-mailed directly to you.  The following table shows the different Darwin feeds available:



Full Name

Feed Type


User Guidance

Sign Up

LDB Webservice (PV) SOAP API NRE OGL OpenLDBWS Register Here
LDB Webservice (Staff Version) SOAP API NRE OGL OpenLDBWSSV Register Here
Darwin Timetable Push Feed NRE OGL Darwin Timetable Register Here
Darwin Push Port Push Feed NRE OGL Darwin Push Port Register Here
Historic Service Performance (HSP) JSON API
HSP Register here

Darwin Terms of Access

Access to Darwin feeds is enabled through automated registration on the National Rail Data Portal where you will be presented with click and accept Terms & Conditions. The terms of access are based on version 2.0 of the OGL with some specific amendments for NRE to ensure consistency and quality. 

Developer Guidelines offer guidance and clarity on the access terms.  Attribution of NRE as the data provider is a requirement of use and should be demonstrated in line with the NRE Brand Guidelines & Logos.

Darwin Usage Charges

Darwin XML Push Feeds are free for all users regardless of usage volumes.  Darwin SOAP APIs feeds are free for all users up to up to five million requests per four week railway period.  Corporate or private users that exceed this amount will be charged for High Volume Usage.  Public sector organisations including Transport for London, passenger transport executives and local authorities, would not be subject to usage charges.

Technical Support

This is a free service, provided to users openly but at a loss to NRE.  As such, formal user support for the service is not offered.  Unofficial informal technical support can be found via the open rail data user forum Open Rail Data-Talk.

Version History

Darwin Terms V3  |  Darwin Terms V2  |  Darwin Terms V1

Last updated:   03 June 2020