A select few rail franchises are to start publishing GPS data that offers more accurate tracking of trains, giving all the apps that pull in official data feeds a much better picture of how the services are running.
From January, location data that tracks trains between stations on services operated by Chiltern, Grand Central, LNER and some Northern and ScotRail services should start to get a little more accurate, as the old, less frequent polling system is replaced by the instant findability power of GPS. This should end the modern nightmare of your train appearing to be on time for ages, then suddenly being nine minutes late and it turns out you did have time to get a coffee after all.
As well as this, the Rail Delivery Group's press release uses the dread term "Internet of Things" to talk about smarter carriages, which may benefit passengers on Arriva trains in the near future thanks to using "camera recognition technology" to work out which carriages need cleaning first, while also better informing travellers of the carriage makeup of each train, so they'll be able to look at their phone to see if the toilet is working instead of... physically seeing if the toilet is working. [Rail Delivery Group]