Chichester teen's new app takes the stress out of train travel

Woody Willis with his newly-developed app. Photo: Woody Willis
Woody Willis with his newly-developed app. Photo: Woody Willis

Woody Willis, 14, developed Trainly because he felt frustrated by his daily commute to Portsmouth. "There wasn’t an app that gave me all the information I wanted,” he said. “So I thought I would just make it myself.”

The app, which is free to download on the Google Play Store, features a live map which allows users to track the exact location of their train. It also allows users to set as many alerts as they like, making it easier than ever to stay on top of delays, cancellations and changes to their travel plans.

It sounds a little bit like magic, but, for budding programmer Woody, it was straightforward coding. “I just made a simple programme that would tell me where a train was on its journey and worked from there to add extra features and improve the design.”

Trainly has been available for a few months now, and Woody said it’s well used by school friends and family members, but he wants to get his product out to as many people as possible. "I’m really proud, but I’d definitely like more people to discover it,” he said. “It would just be so cool to know people are using it all over the country.”

However many people use it, though, there’s no doubt this is the start of a very promising career for Woody, who said he’d love to move into software development when he’s older. “It would be great to start my own company, or work as a tech lead for some kind of start up.”

"We’re obviously very very proud of him,” added dad Craig Willis. “I run a tech start-up myself and we had Woody come in and work with our team. He’s very good at identifying problems in day to day life, and using technology to solve them.

"But not only that, he thinks about how to put those solutions in the hands of people who will use them. He’s proactive about design and promoting an idea, which is really important.”