Train Spotting

Home of the iPhone/iPad Train Spotting app!

Welcome to Train Spotting!

Our sister app PlaneSpotting is now available on the App Store! See

CL. Q6

CL. 8F

Diesel Loco CL. 66/0

Diesel Loco CL. 08/0

EMU CL. 419

DMU CL. 180

George the Fifth

Diesel Loco CL. 37/7


DMU CL. 170

This is the home for the iPhone, iPad & iPod app for rail enthusiasts!


TrainSpotting effortlessly stores both Sightings & Haulage

For Sightings you only need to save the Number but you can also add:

For Haulage you only need Origin but you can also add:

You can view your data in many ways - see below!

Screenshots & explanations of the Main Pages of the app &
Frequently Asked Questions are shown below


The first time you run the app it will start on this page and walk you through the simple set up process.

The Options screen

Warning: any Import selection on this page will overwrite all existing data on the app!

  • Import Spots & Hauls will import a CSV file you have previously exported from this app or one exported from the Android TrainSpotter app.*.
  • Export All Data will export all your data as a csv file but excluding any photos taken from within the app (prohibited by Apple). You should email this file to yourself and save it to your iCloud Drive. You can then edit this data with a spreadsheet such as Numbers, save it as a csv file and import it again. See the Frequently Asked Questions below for instructions.
  • Refresh DatabaseThis will refresh the database following recent updates.
  • Manage Locations allows you to add to or archive your favourite locations.
  • Delete Duplicates Please make sure you have backed up your file before performing this action. This will itterate through your database and delete any duplicates found, which sometimes can occur from syncing local databases with iCloud and vice versa. Note: only identical duplicates (i.e. same number, date & location) will be deleted.
  • Optimise Images This process will resize all of the user submitted images in the app only. The process wil NOT affect any images saved in the devices library. Please only perform this action if you have a full size backup of your images.
  • Set Historic Date this allows you to set a historic date (default is the day BR were disbanded!) for using our Historic Spot feature on the Class Listing page
  • Support & Forum Website opens this web site in your browser.*
  • PlaneSpotting click to download our sister app
  • We also acknowledge here the invaluable service ICRS provide to TrainSpotting and all rail enthusiasts.
  • The current Version number of your app is shown bottom right of the screen - you may need to scroll up
* Internet connection required

Home Page

This simple starting point lets you jump straight to recording a Sighting or record Haulage.

You can also access a simple list of either.

You can also access all the other main pages via the tab menu at the bottom of the screen.

We are also delighted to have agreed a partnershiop with the volunteer-run Inter City Railway Society


Having hit "Create a Spot" you will be prompted to enter a train number - the app then checks our database to make sure it is a registered train (if it is not recognised you will be given the option to send us the details).

You can now simply save the number and add any other details later. Or you can click Full Details and go to the details screen....

Spot Details

Here you add optional details

  • You can type in a location and then save it to favourites if you wish.
  • Or you can select a location from your favourites
  • You can add a photo, either via your camera or from your library
  • You can change the date
  • You can add notes
  • You can change these details as often as you like!

Spot Details

To create a Haulage record you only have to enter an Origin. You can also add:

  • Train number.
  • Destination
  • Departure Date & Time
  • Arrival Date & Time
  • A photo (via camera or library)
  • Notes

You can return to this page and edit any details at any time via the View Haulage page - see below.

Spot Details

Here all your haulage trips are listed chronologically.

Clicking on a trip takes you to the Haulage Create/Edit page shown above. Ideal for transferring your data to


The Trips Menu screen

Here you can choose to search all your sightings on a specific date or at a specific location.

Clicking on a date or location will display a list of all relevant sightings allowing you to select an individual one for review or edit.


The Trips by Date screen

Here you can quickly find all your sightings on a specific date.

Clicking on a location will display a list of all relevant sightings allowing you to select an individual one for review or edit.

Home Page

The Browse screen

From this page you can search the database by: Type, Operator, Owner, name or Depot.

Browse Page

This screen shows the total number of trains by type and the number of sightings. The default view does not include scrapped numbers but they can optionally be included.

Clicking on a train type takes you to the Class screen.....

Or you can search our database for a specific train number via the search icon top right

You can also choose to only show locos/units you have niot spottred.

Home Page

The Class Listing screen

This screen shows all the individual trains in the selected class and clearly shows which ones you have Spotted or been Hauled by.

Clicking on a specific train takes you to the train listing screen.....

You can also swipe left on a number to quickly add a sighting for today or the historic date you can set on the Options page - ideal for adding large amounts of historical data.

Home Page

Start typing a name at the top or scroll down

Every named loco/train in the database is listed here!

Tap to view the selection or swipe left to Spot!

Home Page

The Class screen

This lists all the classes within that train type along with the total number registered and the total number you have spotted.

Clicking on a Class takes you to the Class Listing screen.....

Home Page

The Class Listing screen

This screen shows all the individual trains in the selected class and clearly shows which ones you have Spotted or been Hauled by.

Clicking on a specific train takes you to the train listing screen.....

You can also swipe left on a number to quickly add a sighting for today or the historic date you can set on the Options page - ideal for adding large amounts of historical data.

Home Page

The Train Listing screen

This screen shows all Sightings & Haulage for this train.

Clicking on an Edit button will take you to the Sighting or Haul page for this train

You can edit your personal default class image on this page.

Click on the top right of the image to see it in full screen

Frequently Asked Questions

No, this app was indeed inspired by Peter's. I had been searching for some time for a Train Spotters/Rail Enthusiasts app for iPhone without success. All I could find was his for Android. I initially asked Peter if he would help build this one for me but he had too many other commitments. So I decided to build one myself. However, Peter kindly agreed that I could copy his basic design. We now share our database and our intelligence sources! Peter's Web site: http: //

We will send a Notification whenever we add new trains or new default Class images to our database and invite you to sync your app. You can always change your Notifications preferences in your device Settings.


1. If you have an iCloud account the app will automatically back up your data and images to iCloud. It will also sync the data to any other devices (such as an iPad) signed into the same iCloud account.

2. We also recommend regularly using the Export All function on the Options page to email your data to yourself.

This data is in a simple CSV format. You can simply keep it as a backup or add data in bulk via a text editor or spreadsheet software or load the file into another app but it will not include any photos you have taken from within the app. To do this:
When you have internet connection, Go to Options->Export Spots & Hauls. This should open your email software with an email containing a CSV file. This is your data. Email it to yourself. When you receive the email, click on the CSV attachment and from the share icon (bottom left), click on "Add To iCloud Drive". You can import to a new device Using Import Spots & Hauls but BEWARE - this will overwrite any data already on that device.

If you enter a train number and the app says "Number Not Found" provided you have an email account on your phone, it will invite you to email details of the train to us. Alternatively you can do it via the Contact Page.

A. Yes! There are two options, the easiest way is via the Class Listing Page.

  1. First set the date you wish to use on the Option page.
  2. Got to Browse and select the Type and then Class you want to enter.
  3. Scroll down to the number you want, swipe left and click Add Spot and then choose Historic Spot.

Or if you are reasonably comfortable with spreadsheets you can use the following process:

  1. Add at least one sighting to the app via Create a Spot on the home screen, Select Full details when prompted and add a location and a note then Save.
  2. Add at least one Haulage including Number, Origin, Destination and departure and arrival date and time.
  3. When you have internet connection, Go to Options->Export All Data. This will open a new window where you can choose where you want to save your CSV file. This is your data.
  4. The most important thing to do next is to make a copy of the CSV file so you can reload the original if you encounter problems! Using the Files app, locate your file, click Select (top right), then click the duplicate icon on the bottom menu.
  5. Open the Numbers app, locate your duplicated file and open it. Unfortunatly, modern software including Numbers, tries to help you too much. The 2nd column is the number of the Spot/Haul and Numbers assumes this is a number. It will therefore remove any leading zeros making the shunter 08483 8483. At this stage therefore you should highlight all of the 2nd column, Click on the Brush symbol then Format then tick Text. You can then re-add the leading zeros to any affected locos.
  6. You can then enter all your spots using the format of the Spots or Hauls already there. You only need to enter the number for Spots, you only need location and date for Hauls.
  7. When you are ready Save the file and then select Options (the 3 dots top right) Export and select CSV from the formats offered. Select Add To iCloud Drive.
  8. Return to TrainSpotting select Options->Import Spots and Hauls and select the file you have just saved. The app will check your data during this process and inform you of any errors! If you have any really old sightings of trains (that have been scrapped for example) that are not on our database they will not be recognised and will not be imported. As ever, if you think they should be in our database please email us the details!

This warning can also be triggered if the Sync Trains & Class Images is still running. The message will be changed at the next update to:

"We cannot import that file right now. The app may still be syncing our main database or the file you are trying to import may be invalid. Please wait a few minutes and try import Spots & Hauls again. If you still have problems please contact our support team for more information."