Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

onTrack: Mapping Trains Within an Urban Metro Network Through Crowdsensing

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Alex Bowyer, Dalya Al-Shahrabi, Sean PeacockORCiD



This is the final published version of a working paper published in its final definitive form in 2017. For re-use rights please refer to the publishers terms and conditions.


We present onTrack, a system to locate and map trains within the Tyne & Wear Metro network, an urban light rail system serving Newcastle and Sunderland, UK. Our proof-of-concept system uses a bespoke Android application running on passengers mobile phones that collects real-time, accurate train location information by detecting Bluetooth beacons placed in stations and on trains and sends these reports to a central server which aggregates these into a reliable estimate of the current position and likely destination of each train. These train locations are made available to passengers via the Android app and touchscreen displays in stations driven by Raspberry Pis. In this paper, we situate our system within prior work, describe the components of the system and reflect on the process of its development. We conclude by evaluating the project's success and signposting future work.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Bowyer AJB, Al-Shahrabi D, Peacock S

Publication type: Working Paper

Publication status: Unpublished

Type of Article: Original Masters Student Research Report

Year: 2017