InstantAtlas visualisation of railway station usage in Britain, 1997-2015

In Dec 2015 the BBC reported on Britain’s busiest and quietest stations. They made use of data released by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) that records the estimated number of entries and exits based on the total number of people traveling from or to the station. The list of busiest stations in the BBC article isn’t particularly surprising – London’s main stations are by far the busiest (Waterloo, Victoria, Liverpool Street, etc).

What is more interesting to me is the year-on-year change for each station – whether usage significantly increased or decreased – and seeing this information on a map where it belongs. The ORR publish a time series dataset for 1997-2015 that includes Ordnance Survey grid references. This makes it an easy job to plot the location of the 2,608 stations in InstantAtlas.

My report shows year-on-year change. One challenge was the large number of points (stations) that obscured one another and made the map hard to read. To overcome this I filtered out stations where year-on-year change was less than 50% and experimented with the size, colour and opacity of the points to strike the best balance.

View report: Dark or Light canvas.

Click the Play button to animate year-on-year change, or click the dates at the foot of the report to jump to a specific year.


Note that the 2003-04 date carries a * flag. The ORR did not provide estimates for 2003-04 and so estimates for this year were calculated as the average of the years to either side.

One thought on “InstantAtlas visualisation of railway station usage in Britain, 1997-2015

  1. Pingback: Visualización del uso de la estaciones de tren en Gran Bretaña en el periodo 1997-2015 «

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