I hate waiting for trains. DC is awful when it comes to waiting for trains, the Metro doesn’t run frequently enough, especially outside of rush, and their scheduling is always so arcane its impossible to remember what time which train is where. So, it’s about time did something about that.

Somebody Did.

Enter TrainCheck, which is a short email service designed to give you time of the next trains in each direction on any line from any of the 86 metro stations. Drop an email like “met r” to and you’ll get a response back from the service with the next two trains departing from Metro Center, one toward Shady Grove, one toward Glenmont.

Better yet, it’ll work from your cellphone, so you can time you bar departure perfectly at the end of the night. Best, though, is that the service is free.

Thank you, Intarweb!

2 Comments so far

  1. Don (unregistered) on March 13th, 2006 @ 6:03 pm

    I can’t find a single mention anywhere on their site that indicates where they’re getting this information. If it’s just static stuff out of the schedule that’s nice enough but it’s not anything I couldn’t have downloaded from myself. Something that reflects reality rather than WMATA’s oft-violated schedules would be way more interesting…

  2. Frank Harris (unregistered) on March 13th, 2006 @ 6:43 pm

    The times are based upon the timetables that metro publishes on their website (more here). In fact, it is the same data that Metro uses to power the trip planner section of their website. Although not ideal, we found that Metro _generally_ runs on time during off-peak hours so the data is extremely useful. (And yes you could download all of the information, but it is alot! Our database consists of over 50,000 items for DC alone!)

    We are already working on making it better. We’d encourage you to write Metro and ask them to open up their information to provide you with real-time data.

    If anyone has any ideas, contact us.

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