“Girl on the platform smiled, the best smile he’d seen for a while…” – finally, countless years late, an official app from the Ministry of Transport Excuses to help end rail-rage, epic bouts of sitting around and, of course, having to endure irritating blokes with ukuleles prowling platforms on the pull. Welcome to National Rail Enquiries…
It’s very easy to make jokes about the rail system in the UK, so let’s do that. Run in conjunction with Chaos Theory and staffed by people with Olympic standard shrugging skills, the process of getting from A to Z by rail in Britain, passing through C and F, stopping for an hour just outside of L and breaking down completely just shy of X, is normally both agonising and expensive, but this handy new app could well let the train take the strain.
Providing searchable timetables, real-time train info and even the ability to track individual trains, not only can you now plan your journey via your smartphone, you can receive push notifications of problems and re-plan ahead of arrival, saving hours of unplanned platform misery. Once on your timely carriage of dreams you can monitor your route progress and, best of all for weary commuters, set alarms to wake you at your station. As packed with features then as the early morning commuter service is with human suffering.
THE BOTTOM LINE
But, while a great idea in theory, unfortunately, the interface is clunky, looking and feeling like a hasty iOS port. And then there’s the issue of paying nearly a fiver to upgrade to the ad-less version. That said, though, in testing it does seems to work and work rather well. So for those poor wretches whose lives rely on the railway, far from perfect it may be, but it is at least on the right track…
Current version: 1.0.1
Requires Android 2.2 and up