Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Where’s my Amtrak train? Just Google it!

Written by  William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
Amtrak has introduced a new way to see where trains are and when they are expected to arrive, including information on stations nationwide, all through a new interactive train locator map built on the easy-to-use, familiar Google Maps interface.

The new train location tracking system, available at Amtrak.com, provides near-real-time train status of more than 300 daily trains, estimates of arrival times and station information, all in the context of the Amtrak national system map.

“Checking on train status is the second most popular action on Amtrak.com, just after purchasing tickets,” says Amtrak Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Matt Hardison. “In addition to helping passengers plan travel, this new travel resource is an excellent tool for those planning the arrival or departure of family and friends. Users can search for information by train number or name, city name and station name, or code. “This tool creates a new platform for sharing information with our customers, and Amtrak will continue to add helpful layers onto this map such as local travel and tourist information to provide passengers a one-stop location for all their travel needs. This map joins several recent technology-related offerings that have improved the customer experience and changed how Amtrak does business, ultimately changing and enhancing the way customers travel with us.”

The information provided in the map is aggregated data collected from GPS units on each operating train and other automated systems. The data is transmitted to Google’s cloud, and then transferred to the map.

The new tracking system joins several recent technology advancements at Amtrak, including expanded and improved Wi-Fi, eTicketing, and mobile phone apps. In addition to working with Google to advance new systems for customers, Amtrak has partnered with other major industry-leading brands, such as Apple and AT&T, to improve the amenities and services provided to passengers.

To learn more about the new map visit blog.amtrak.com.