Amtrak Status Maps Down?

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Triley

Real Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Dec 14, 2008
Messages
1,562
Location
Somewhere between VAC and EUG
None are a terribly exact system at best.
It is as if the station clerk after counting tickets loading handling baggage duties and etc. comes in off the tracks and has to manual update the progress !
Some airlines are not so great at doing this time keeping also.
In this day and age of computers when train movement is detected update the progress at that instant.
The dixielandsoftware is pretty good at updating (look at the colored ball movement for time direction and speed of travel) but still yet lags behind
on the exact location of the train - in some cases the train has arrived passengers offloaded with luggage and moved on to the next station stop
before the graph image or chart is updated.
Punctuationality one could set ones watch by used to be the norm -
Now the least little incident - trespassers on the tracks - cars trucks even buses stuck in place - racing in a futile effort to beat the train to the
crossing - ignoring train horns and warning signals is fair game in the quest and the whole schedule thing goes haywire.
That and the cosmetic sheet metal at the front of the locomotive - what happened to the venerable cow catcher ?

AND THEN ALL THE SPANISH INQUISTION OF the accident that happened further DELAYING the train !

I just want to clarify this, because it’s driving me. The times are not updated by station services (how would that work with so many stops being unstaffed?). They are updated by the conductor of the train, and there are many more pressing duties, so sometimes it happens that the arrival/departure times may not be updated right away.

Also, when you touch in the details link and it gives you speed/direction info? That info is from the transitdocs website, the one that only relies on GPS info, and is generally far more useful.
 

WWW

No real RR Job
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
472
Location
MSP
I just want to clarify this, because it’s driving me. The times are not updated by station services (how would that work with so many stops being unstaffed?). They are updated by the conductor of the train, and there are many more pressing duties, so sometimes it happens that the arrival/departure times may not be updated right away.

Also, when you touch in the details link and it gives you speed/direction info? That info is from the transitdocs website, the one that only relies on GPS info, and is generally far more useful.
Thanks for providing that missing link in the data information of time - who does what to create the time
With most of the airlines when the cabin door is closed and the brakes released the (payroll) block time begins for crew pilots and attendants
I would suppose that in your case when the train first departs at the origin point the payroll clock starts running until the destination is reached
or crew change point. That recent AutoTrain accident must have racked up some overtime for that crew

Also, when you touch in the details link and it gives you speed/direction info?

With the details link scroll down to the bottom of web page to see the route map of that train - click on any one of the colored ball shape images
and see the time speed and direction of travel at that point - RED highballing it - ORANGE - medium speed - GREY - slow/yard speed stopped.

I just want to clarify this, because it’s driving me.

Yeah a lot of things drive me bonkers - lack of information clarity or quality of it -
that is why I like this forum - brings out the Paul Harvey "The Rest of the Story" by railroaders in the know
 

acelafan

OBS Chief
Joined
May 24, 2009
Messages
987
Location
Atlanta, GA
Triley,

Thank you for your insight into this, you guys in the field really know your stuff and we should all listen to you. I can elaborate a little and tell you that the real-time train status information is almost always automatically recorded by the on train GPS device. There are instances like you said where manual updates are needed.

I have worked with the main engineer at Amtrak who designed and deployed the system (in an informal bug-fix capacity) and have learned a lot about the mechanics of the GPS reporting routines.

Each station has a geofence which is a bounding box that looks for a train arriving or departing near the assigned station. If the train enters the bounding box *and* the train speedometer goes to zero, the system concludes the train has arrived. When the train starts moving again, the system concludes the train has departed the station. This can get messed up with double spots and other things such as temporary track work but there are rules in place to account for these issues. Occasionally something needs to be modified though, such as a platform being moved or a track being moved, etc. But overall almost all real time reporting is automated and pretty reliable.

As far as I know there is no delay in reporting the real time GPS data to Amtrak Arrow or the website, either. The computers take a few minutes to update the status of every active Amtrak train. For example, if a particular train arrives at 9:05 p.m. and the system runs its routine at 9:06 p.m. the train data will appear online in just a few minutes, when all data has been gathered and processed.

My friend at Amtrak has been *very* helpful in addressing problems with the real-time data such as stations not reporting, entire trains not reporting, etc. It's a lot of work and can be very tedious trying to fix issues.

Unfortunately the real-time track a train data is not as reliable as the reservation system. It is considered a marketing tool. That is why Dixieland can update its status but transitdocs may be stale.

I hope this provides some insight into the status discussion at hand.
 

AmtrakBlue

Engineer
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
13,898
Location
Delaware
I see the system delay when I'm checking the status (via the app, not any of the maps) of trains leaving WIL heading south towards me in NRK. It will say expected departure is 8:21. I'll check it again at 8:21 and 8:22 and it still says expected 8:21 - then at 8:23 I'll see that it left at 8:21. (I made up those times just for an example).
 

acelafan

OBS Chief
Joined
May 24, 2009
Messages
987
Location
Atlanta, GA
I see the system delay when I'm checking the status (via the app, not any of the maps) of trains leaving WIL heading south towards me in NRK. It will say expected departure is 8:21. I'll check it again at 8:21 and 8:22 and it still says expected 8:21 - then at 8:23 I'll see that it left at 8:21. (I made up those times just for an example).
It does take a few minutes for the data to work its way through the system. It's not instantaneous like a millisecond.
 

Trollopian

Lead Service Attendant
Joined
Sep 19, 2014
Messages
278
Location
Washington, DC and Pittsburgh, PA
More Progress - 10/29/2021

The Alerts are up and running now. Unfortunately, the Alerts that y'all have set up were lost, so you'll have to create them again.

jb

Thank you, John, from a trainfan who uses the Alerts to check on the trains I wish I were on. A nice enhancement: we can now make the alerts last for 60 days (formerly 21). I'm surely not the only person who had a reminder on my calendar every 21 days.
 

John Bobinyec

Conductor
Joined
Sep 18, 2009
Messages
1,919
Location
CYN
On Friday night, 5/20/2022, my hosting provider developed a glitch. I am able to develop the maps, etc., but am having trouble sending the files to the hosting company, where you can see them.

Affected:
Amtrak Status Maps - somewhat inaccurate
Station Status Boards - offline

I contacted the company again just now, so they escalated the issue.

jb
 
Last edited:

WWW

No real RR Job
Joined
Nov 18, 2018
Messages
472
Location
MSP
At this point this LINK is showing the arrival/departure info - BUT NO Mapping.
(Amtrak Status Maps - West)
Click on the train # - Click on the RED Details - Schedule arrive depart - at bottom clicking on View StatusMap..net {{dead end endless loop}}


This LINK only shows the map and location of a given train
Click on the train and in the lower left corner click on + Detailed Train Status

I know Amtrak doesn't (presently) have much of a budget for upgrading their computers and information system -
but really time to get out of the telegraph and pony express mode and provided real time info including type of delays example as posted LINK:
 

AmtrakBlue

Engineer
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
13,898
Location
Delaware
At this point this LINK is showing the arrival/departure info - BUT NO Mapping.
(Amtrak Status Maps - West)
Click on the train # - Click on the RED Details - Schedule arrive depart - at bottom clicking on View StatusMap..net {{dead end endless loop}}


This LINK only shows the map and location of a given train
Click on the train and in the lower left corner click on + Detailed Train Status

I know Amtrak doesn't (presently) have much of a budget for upgrading their computers and information system -
but really time to get out of the telegraph and pony express mode and provided real time info including type of delays example as posted LINK:
asm.transitdocs.com gets it's info from amtrak.com/track-you-train. So, if Amtrak's isn't working, asm's not going to be working.

As for your first one, (Amtrak Status Maps - West) - Read John's post above yours.
 

John Bobinyec

Conductor
Joined
Sep 18, 2009
Messages
1,919
Location
CYN
On Friday night, 5/20/2022, my hosting provider developed a glitch. I am able to develop the maps, etc., but am having trouble sending the files to the hosting company, where you can see them.

Affected:
Amtrak Status Maps - somewhat inaccurate
Station Status Boards - offline

I contacted the company again just now, so they escalated the issue.

jb
Things should be back to normal now.
jb
 
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