Facebook Messenger can now tell you when your train is delayed – here’s how to set it up

Facebook Messenger can now tell you when your train is delayed – here’s how to set it up
The new service means you won't have to scroll through Twitter to find out about delays (Photo: Shutterstock)

Facebook Messenger has added a free feature which allows users to track their status of their train journeys, alerting them to any delays or cancellations.

The new scheme alerts passengers with an instant notification if their train is cancelled, or if their journey is delayed by at least 10 per cent, plus three minutes.

That means – for example – if your journey should take 30 minutes, you won’t be notified of any delays until you are at least six minutes late.

On an hour-long journey, passengers will only be notified of their delay once they are at least nine minutes late.

How do I set it up?

Anyone can sign up for the service via the National Rail website or the National Rail Facebook page – just make sure you have access to Facebook’s messenger app on your smartphone.

From there, you can input up to 10 journeys on which you travel regularly.

If you find yourself on holiday and don’t want to be bothered by notifications about your morning commute, you can mute them until you’re back to work.

The one downside is that while the service can keep you abreast of the latest disruptions and cancellations, it cannot tell you the reasons behind those changes to your journey.

‘People don’t want to scroll through feeds’

The new feature is currently in trial mode, but anyone in the UK can sign up to it while it is live.

It is expected that a decision on whether to make the feature permanent will be made by train companies in June 2019.

Alex Froom, head of product at Zipabout (the company which worked with rail firms to develop the service) said, “For years Twitter has been the main source of information for those looking for minute by minute information on travel news.

“While Twitter is a great information tool, people don’t want to scroll endlessly through news feeds to find out about delays to journeys that may not be relevant to them.”