Determined to make it easier to check the status of more than 300 daily trains, Amtrak has teamed up with Google to create an interactive, real-time tool that tracks the progress of trains across the US, and accurately predicts arrival times for those worried about making an important appointment.
The company decided to approach Google with the idea after discovering that checking the status of a train is the second most popular activity on their website, right after buying tickets. Located in the bottom left corner of the Amtrak Website, the map features a clean design and simple user interface.
Once you get the map open, it’s easy to tell which trains are active by the blue arrow that points in the direction they are traveling, with stations shown as smaller white dots. For busier parts of the country such as the east coast, a purple circle enclosing a number shows how many trains are in a particular area, with the option to zoom in and locate a specific train.
A status window for each individual train gives the train number, direction, origin, final destination, and speed. There’s also a status flag that lets you know if a service is on time or not: green for those on time, amber for those running late, and a gray flag for any service disruptions. There is also a scrollable history that gives the local times of every arrival a train has made (or will make) on that route.
Expect a lot of standard Google map features as well, such as the traditional zoom feature, a search window that auto-fills for stations or route names, and a satellite viewing option. There is even one you can’t find on Google maps – a “reset” button that takes you back to the original screen you see when first loading the map.
Image by mark242