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How National Rail Enquiries manages peaks of 10 million visitors per day

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The challenge

The National Rail Enquiries website is the gateway to Britain's National Rail network, receiving an average of one million visitors per day using the website’s Journey Planner. Behind the scenes, the Journey Planner search form needs to be linked to the core internal business system to receive, transform and distribute up-to-minute station, service and fare data to the public.

The solution

Working with the UK’s train operating companies to develop data processes, CDS was able to deliver and maintain a CMS and CDN solution for the National Rail Enquiries website, integrating over 100 data feeds. To meet the required response times and visitor numbers, the CDS team architected, implemented, and now manages, a scalable cloud solution capable of handling daily peaks of up to 10 million users. CDS also provides an ITIL Service Desk and technical solutions for the website.

The result

CDS designed and built a resilient technical solution on AWS that provides 99.99% availability at the infrastructure and application levels to keep the website the nation relies on for rail travel running smoothly and reliably. Several rail strikes occurred during July 2022, causing the Journey Planner to receive over 227 million requests. CDS ensured there was negligible impact on response times. Customers were able to access all of the vital information that they needed.

At a glance...


  • Public transport


  • Allow customers to plan their journeys with up to the minute information.
  • Ensure that the website can handle huge spikes in demand, for example on snow days.


  • Re-platform the website and Journey Planner to allow scalability for increased visitor numbers.


  • 99.99% availability
  • Ability to handle daily peaks of 10 million users
  • Improved flexibility and new innovations
  • Enhanced customer experience
  • Greater resilience and reliability
  • Reduced risk to nationally important website
page visits a day

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