I am personally against the idea of public-access train trackers. Information of an operational nature is just that. For the use of those operationally involved. Not a bunch of foamers who tend to do stupid things to get "that" shot.
I seem to recall an anecdote that did the rounds shortly before the public Countrynet tracking website was switched off. An ARTC work ute pulled up at an access gate and noticed a photographer (for want of a better term) skylarking around (again, for want of a better term) on/near the running line. When challenged, the photographer reportedly showed the ARTC trackworkers (who would be in contact with control prior to even considering approaching a live running line) the Countrynet tracking website viewed on his phone saying "it's alright, there's no trains around".
It remains to be seen how much truth there is to this story, but the website was switched off a month or so later.
The RailCorp TLS system has a large disclaimer all over it - this is NOT to be used as a safeworking system. There is zero substitute for talking to the signaller or area controller to find out where the rail traffic is prior to accessing the danger zone. This is just one reason why the general public are not given free access to the tracking system.
I noticed when the website was taken down, Facebook groups started being set up to create a simple and effective way of passing sightings on. I post all of my sightings on the "Train Tracking Australia" group as well as an older group set up during the introduction of ICE radios. In a way, it's actually better than the old train tracking website, as ALL of the locomotive data, as well as the consist is typically shared, so you know exactly what is approaching. Bob from Newcastle might suggest that an SSR works train is heading towards Sydney behind five streamliners, towing whatever wagons. That then allows Steve from Gosford to get a shot, and report that the train has been put away in the loop. Terry at Cowan then knows he has time to get trackside and he reports the train has gone into the loop at Cowan.
Cue me pulling up on the Sydney-end of Cowan loop to get a photo myself, then passing the information on to folks who might be waiting down the line at North Strathfield.
Sadly in this hobby, people see train running information as some kind of power over others - if THEY get the special train photo and nobody else gets it, then they're the top dog. They seem to be afraid that someone ELSE might get a photo too, and it might be BETTER than their own (shock horror).
For the record, if ARTC is listening, I'd gladly pay a small subscription fee for a watered down train tracking system "app" that would work on an iSomething/Android device. Ie just loco number/train number and last location. Doesn't have to be super detailed, just enough that if one is looking for a train, one can find it. I'm certainly not going to use it to start my own Melbourne to Brisbane freighter. Not THIS week, anyway...