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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Caltrain, Metra advance train information systems


This week, Caltrain will conduct the first round of testing of a predictive arrival/departure system designed to inform riders in real time when a train will arrive at a station.

The system will feature visual messages at stations and audio announcements on platform address systems. The new system will work in tandem with GPS technology already installed on Caltrain locomotives and transmit information about a train’s speed and location to the Central Control Center. The information will be electronically sent to digital message signs at stations.

When fully operational, the system will begin delivering real-time arrival and departure messages an hour before a train is due to arrive at a station. The message will include the train number and scheduled arrival time, and state whether the train is on time or running late.

Meanwhile, Chicago’s Metra recently debuted the “Rail-Time Tracker” feature on its website, which enables riders to check the status of the next train at every station in the system. The feature shows scheduled departure times and indicates whether trains are running late or on time.

The online feature is linked to Metra’s GPS tracking system.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/9/2012