I provide a Windows program that displays the real-time arrival and departure schedules for long distance trains of the Deutsche Bahn AG using data from DB Vertrieb GmbH
The program allows you to search for any station, and once you select a station, it will show upcoming arrivals and departures according to the schedule. (Delays and other changes are not reflected.)
The program will also display this data on a RemoteSign - providing a realistic looking arrival and departure sign for your favorite station! (Yes! the sign is animated and makes the clicking noise as it updates!)
Here is a sample screen running on Windows:
and an example running on an 8 line screen of a RemoteSign ESP (man is HO scale)
- Windows operating system (Windows 8 or later is required for the security support)
- RemoteSign Windows on same machine (automatically installed with DB) or a different machine, or RemoteSign ESP
- Internet access (to fetch schedule data from Germany)
The software can be downloaded and tried out for free.
Registration of RemoteSign is just $10.
ScopeThe data supplied by DB Vertrieb GmbH is, at present, limited to scheduled long distance trains (Fernverkehr) only. It does not yet reflect delays and cancellations. The data is from the schedule.
Neither I nor DB Vertrieb GmbH are responsible for errors or omissions.
How to install and run DB:
- Download and run the installer.
(If Windows does not want to let the program run, override that and force it to run. See here for more information)
- Run the program that it installs, called DB
- Search for a station, for example enter 'Berlin' and press Enter or click the search button ->
- DB will present a list of possible matching stations, and select the first one for you too.
- You can click on any of the stations in the result list.
The DB installer includes a copy of RemoteSign also so that you can run it on the same machine.
Using one machineBy default, DB will use the copy of RemoteSign that came with it. To launch it simply click the button 'Launch local'.
DB will attempt to connect to the RemoteSign computer every 10 seconds, so just wait a short while after launching RemoteSign and it should connect.
If you have previously changed the configuration, here is how to get the 'Launch local' button to appear again:
1) In the RemoteSign configuration enter 127.1.1.1 as the IP address of the RemoteSign. (Or click "This machine" on the config screen.)
2) Click OK.
Using two machinesIf you want to run RemoteSign on a separate computer, and you do not yet have RemoteSign installed on the second machine, get that in place first, see Installing RemoteSign
To get the train schedules to display on a RemoteSign you need to point the DB program to a copy of RemoteSign. Here is how to do that...
Assuming you have DB running on one machine and RemoteSign running on another, and both are connected to your network, here is how to proceed:
On the DB machine, click the "Configure" button in the RemoteSign section.
Click "Search LAN" and DB will scan your network for any RemoteSigns listening on your network.
If it finds the one you are looking for, click on it and then click the "use this" button. It will place the network information into the IP address/network name field for you.
If the scan of the local network does not find the RemoteSign you can enter its IP address (or network name) into the field manually. To determine the IP address, on the RemoteSign machine (B), press the 'C' key on the main screen of RemoteSign. This will bring up the Connection screen which will tell you the IP address - see the red ellipse in this example:
When you click OK, it will save the information for the future automatically.
DB should then connect to the RemoteSign machine and send the train arrivals and departures information to it.
It will automatically update the screen every minute.
The next time you run DB it will also try to reconnect to the RemoteSign machine. If the RemoteSign cannot be found, or does not accept a connection, it will retry every 10 seconds.
Adjusting the layout of the RemoteSignYou can influence how the RemoteSign screen looks by adjusting the number of rows used and the size of the analog clock.
25 screen rows produces a good starting value. Increasing the rows on the screen makes the rows smaller and slower, so select a number of rows that produces legible text and also provides enough rows for the amount of schedule traffic you wish to see. An odd number of rows works better than an even number since there is an odd number of lines used for other purposes.
New in version 1.2: You can also elect to display just the arrivals or departures by selecting the appropriate checkboxes. This is useful if your screen has a small number of rows.
Small stations with little traffic need fewer screen lines. If your RemoteSign computer is very slow, having too many rows may take too long for the screen to update when trains need to shift up a line.
Adjusting the appearance of the clockThe RemoteSign Configure button also provides a method to customize the appearance of the clock. Digital or analog mode can be selected. Digital mode allows a 12 or 24 hour clock and analog allows the size and colors of the clock face to be configured. Changes to the clock are reflected in the DB program as well as on a connected RemoteSign.
You can also select to view the schedules as if your local time was European time. Simply uncheck the "Europe" checkbox, and DB will use your local time instead. The clock and schedule will reflect the time being used.
This is useful when you are in a time zone so far from Germany, that there is little train traffic when you are viewing the schedules.
Advanced configurationIt is possible to have RemoteSign running on another network, for example, at your friends house, and you can drive it from your house. This does however require the internet router where RemoteSign is running to allow traffic through to the machine running RemoteSign. All routers have the ability to do this, but the screens to do this are all different so you will need to consult your router help to make the changes, but here are the generic steps to do this:
- It is best to assign a static IP address to the machine that will be running RemoteSign. See your Windows help and control panel to do this. Modern router systems (such as Google Wifi) allow one to simply reserve an IP address to assign to the machine, which is even easier.
- Install RemoteSign
- In the router administration direct internet traffic on port 50601 to the static IP address of the RemoteSign machine. Look for 'Port forwarding' or 'Port triggering'.
- Determine the external IP address of your router that is assigned to your router by your service provider.
- On the computer running DB, enter the IP address determined at step (4) above as the IP address of the RemoteSign machine.
If you wish to use a port other than 50601, you can edit the port that RemoteSign uses in the RemoteSign.ini file.
Select the same port number in the DB configuration screen too.
A supplemental program called Fetcher.exe is also installed with DB since version 1.2
Updating the software
Fetcher can be used to grab updated versions of DB or RemoteSign. To ensure you have the latest versions, exit DB and RemoteSign, then simply run Fetcher.exe and select the program you wish to update, and click the Fetch button.
Version history1.05 Initial release
1.1 Switched to HTTPS in response to DB Vertrieb GmbH switching to HTTPS
184.108.40.206 Added an error trap for an error that the DB Vertrieb GmbH server is returning instead of the data requested. DB AG have said the problem will be fixed with the next release of the API.
1.2 Added the ability to display just arrivals or departures or both. Added Fetcher.exe
1.2.2 Added code to correct invalid HTML entities in JSON data from DB AG
- Uses a slightly more restrictive text mask for train names and locations. This produces a nicer display on RemoteSign ESP devices
- Shortcut to Fetcher can now also be created by installer
- Improved screen layout to ensure that header line is displayed when analog clock is very small
- Changed caption on Search button to Go!
- First run will do an auto search for Munich
- Added some hover text
- Changed caption on Search button to an arrow
- Report server errors from DB AG
- Added the option of using local time to fetch schedule data
- Made time zone selection setting sticky
- Allow the app to be minimized
- Clear unregistered flag when connecting again
- Improved the RemoteSign configuration screen, adding the ability to search for RemoteSigns running on the network, and try and lookup the network name.
- Send the time to the RemoteSign every 5 minutes to ensure there is no time drift. (RemoteSign has to try to maintain the time itself when not using a real-time clock.)
- If the DB server does not respond, I place that information on the screen rather than in a popup, which was holding up all other processing.
- Restore real-time clock on exiting
- Improved error reporting of OS systems that do not provide the security level needed to access the DB Vetrieb AG server