UK2GTFS is an R package to convert and work with train, tram, bus, ferry, and metro timetable data from the unfriendly and difficult to use formats used in the UK to the easy to use GTFS format. The main purpose of developing the package is to support using OpenTripPlanner in the UK.

Example results are published as GitHub releases these come with no guarantee of quality.


The UK has two main sources of public transport timetable data Traveline publishes data on buses and light rail and ATOC publishes data on heavy rail. Each uses a data format that is unique to that organisation and both formats are old and difficult to use. Many countries have adopted the GTFS format which was developed by Google as a simple standard for publishing timetable data. Due to the wide-spread adoption of GTFS many useful tools have been developed that accept GTFS files as inputs. This package is intended to make the conversion of UK data to the GTFS format simple and easy.

Update November 2020

The Open Bus Data Service now offers a national GTFS download option based on ITO World’s TransXchange to GTFS converter. For non-expert users it will probably be easier to download there files. However this packages is still being maintained to support conversion of historical files, and because the conversion of TransXchange to GTFS is open to interpretation and having alternative converters is useful.

Capabilities - why we need another package

There are a number of pre-existing options for converting data to GTFS. This package aims to go beyond basic conversion by providing a range of additional functionality:

  1. Data conversion
    • Conversion of TransXchange to GTFS
    • Conversion of CIF files to GTFS
    • reading of TransXchange and CIF files is also supported, although some parts which are not required for GTFS conversion are only partially supported.
  2. Data cleaning, the raw data often contains clear errors, the package does not blindly convert but also corrects some known errors
    • Improved locations of tiplocs - used to locate features on the heavy rail network
    • Add bus stops missing in the NAPTAN
    • Correction of spelling errors
    • Removal of on-demand bus services (GTFS does not support services that are on-demand)
  3. Data polishing
    • Support of journeys past midnight
  4. GTFS tools, functions for working with GTFS data
    • Reading / Writing
    • Cleaning
    • Compression
    • Validation
    • Subsetting


Install the package with remotes as follows:

install.packages("remotes") # If you do not already have the remotes package


You can find full documentation for the package, including a list of functions and more detail on converting TransXchange and ATOC CIF.

Package Status

This package a work in progress and comes with no guarantees. As of September 2019, it can convert most train and bus timetables to GTFS but occasionally fails on specific files.

Please report failed conversions as GitHub Issues