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@chriswhong chriswhong/scrape.js
Created Apr 22, 2019

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Decrypting Amtrak's real-time train location geoJSON feed
// decrypting Amtrak's real-time train location geoJSON feed
// based on
const fetch = require('node-fetch');
const CryptoJS = require('crypto-js');
// this is the xhr call done by containing encrypted train location data
const dataUrl = '';
// these constants are pulled from RoutesList.v.json, which is an object with keys 'arr', 's', and 'v'
const sValue = '9a3686ac'; // found at s[8]
const iValue = 'c6eb2f7f5c4740c1a2f708fefd947d39'; // found at v[32]
const publicKey = '69af143c-e8cf-47f8-bf09-fc1f61e5cc33'; // found at arr[179]
// the encrypted data returned by dataURL contains two hashes, the second one is {masterSegment} characters long
const masterSegment = 88;
// Decrypt with CryptoJS
function decrypt(content, key) {
return CryptoJS.AES.decrypt(
ciphertext: CryptoJS.enc.Base64.parse(content)
CryptoJS.PBKDF2(key, CryptoJS.enc.Hex.parse(sValue), {
keySize: 4, iterations: 1e3
iv: CryptoJS.enc.Hex.parse(iValue)
// Decrypt the data and clean it up
function decryptData(encryptedData) {
const contentHashLength = encryptedData.length - masterSegment;
// get the two parts of the
const contentHash = encryptedData.slice(0, contentHashLength);
const privateKeyHash = encryptedData.slice(contentHashLength);
const privateKey = decrypt(privateKeyHash, publicKey).split('|')[0]
const { TrainsDataResponse: geoJSON } = JSON.parse(decrypt(contentHash, privateKey));
return geoJSON;
(async () => {
const encryptedData = await fetch(dataUrl).then(d => d.text());
const geoJSON = decryptData(encryptedData);
// what, lol, looks like all of this is unnecessary because it's all in a public carto table
// * from active_trains&format=geojson&api_key={api_key}
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