CHICAGO — Metra has rolled out a new real-time train-tracking website.

The new site, made possible by a wholesale replacement of Metra’s current train tracking system, is called metratracker.com.

The project cost $26.7 million and required the installation of new GPS tracking devices and other network equipment on more than 1,000 railcars and in 238 stations.

The new train tracking equipment is currently being installed on Union Pacific, SWS and BNSF trains and tracking on those lines will increase as the rollout is completed this year.

“This new train tracking system is a major upgrade and will be a dramatic improvement in our communications to My Metra customers,” said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski. “It enables us to do a better job of tracking trains and conveying timely, accurate information, and also includes a variety of interactive new features.”

The new site’s main functions are as follows.

  • Station Times – This option allows customers to check for train departure times from their selected station. When they pick this option, they will be asked to select the line they use and their origination and destination stations. Once they’ve made their selections and click “Continue,” the next page will show all trains scheduled to make that trip in the next two hours, with the train numbers and predicted or scheduled departure times.
  • Real-Time Map – This interactive map allows customers to see the location of trains along the line or lines that they select, so they can see exactly where their train is and how soon it will reach their station. Customers can click on stations or trains on the map to see real-time information about trains and schedules.
  • Trip Planner – This option allows customers to plan a trip using Metra and other modes of travel between addresses or locations that they select. They can request the “Best Route,” “Fewer Transfers,” or “Less Walking” and choose “Leave Now” or enter their preferred departure or arrival time.