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LIRR to beta test real-time train finder in effort to improve communication

The beta version will allow riders to find their train on a virtual map, and to see trouble spots.

The LIRR announced it is launching an online tool that allows customers to see the real-time position of trains on a map, on a phone, tablet or computer.   (Credit: LIRR)

A new online tool allows Long Island Rail Road riders to see where their train is in real time.

The LIRR announced Tuesday it had rolled out a beta version of the tool, which is available at mylirr.org. It uses 900 GPS units installed on trains to pinpoint the location of trains on a virtual map. Users can also get information on how many cars each train has and on “trouble spots” affecting train service, the railroad said.

LIRR president Phillip Eng said the railroad aims to make the new tool “the gold standard” for providing information to customers.

“We’ve heard many times from customers that they want better information about when their train will arrive,” Eng said. “The myLIRR tool is an important component of our efforts to improve customer communications as part of the LIRR Forward plan.”

LIRR Forward aims to improve railroad service and the rider experience by tackling the root cause of the railroad’s most persistent problems.

To use the new online tool, customers select a station to see a list of upcoming trains. Selecting a train shows its location within the LIRR system map. “As the train moves, the icon representing the train on the map moves as well,” the railroad said.

The railroad developed the online tool internally and hopes eventually to include it as part of a downloadable mobile application, like the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's MYmta app.

“We commend the LIRR for this move to provide riders with a more accurate and real-time assessment of the location of their trains and encourage riders to provide feedback to the LIRR as it rolls out this new on-line feature,” said Mark Epstein, chairman of the LIRR Commuter Council, a rider advocacy group.

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